Improvisation team and become more accepting of other

Improvisation
Can Advance Your Career

The
dictionary definition of improvisation is to invent, compose, or recite without
preparation. Improv is something that people do every day though they might not
realize it. Creating a conversation with someone is considered improvisation
and can be very helpful when trying to come up with the right things to say on
the spot. Improv can improve social skills and advance your career because it
boosts confidence; helps people work better as a team and become more accepting
of other people’s ideas.

            In the mid 1500’s Commedia dell’arte was created.
Commedia dell’arte, or comedy of art, means unwritten or improvised drama, and
implies that the performance is more important than the subject matter of the
play. This is an Italian theatrical form that grew throughout Europe from the
16th to the 18th century. In the 1920’s and 1930’s Viola
Spolin and Keith Johnstone re-invented improvisation to create the craft that
we know today.

            Improv is a great way to build confidence and overcome
fears. It is proven that public speaking is the number one fear of the average
person, but taking improv classes can help people face their fears. When you
stand in front of an audience all eyes fall on you and this can be tough on
self-esteem. The more you stand in front of an audience the easier it will be
to speak in front of a large group of people without being self-conscious or
nervous. Building confidence is important to becoming a better leader, which
can lead to a better career. A willingness to come up with new ideas and adapt
to situations will establish you as a leader in the corporate world. Leaders
need to be doers but this can be difficult because most of the time the leaders
fear they will make a bold choice that ends up being a mistake. However, if you
are constantly trying not to fail, how can you succeed?  “In improv, you absolutely need to make a
choice. If you make a choice, things happen. If you don’t, the product is
awkward and boring” (Council 2017). This applies to all careers because if you
are not able to make your own choices than you will always be relying on other
people. If no one takes risks it will be impossible for anyone to get ahead in
their career.

            In order to get ahead in your career, you must know your
customers. In improv you must know your audience in order to do well. This
means listening to your partner or team on stage so that you can react appropriately.
In public speaking, it means paying attention to what your audience needs. In
improv and in public speaking your audience wants to know what you have to say.
In improvisation speaking clearly and slowly is how you keep your audience
interested. Quite often your adrenaline will be flowing and you want to power
through your presentation but if you talk too fast your audience won’t get a
chance to understand what you’re saying. Having confidence in what you say
makes you more persuasive which is a great trait to have when looking to
further your career.

            Another great trait to have is the ability to accept
other people’s ideas. Colleagues really appreciate when you treat their ideas
with respect even if your ideas are different. One of the most fundamental
rules of improv comedy is that a player must never turn down the ideas of
another player. The response to another’s suggestions, no matter how crazy, must
always be “yes and…” “It seems simple, but it’s
a rather profound notion: To accept another’s ideas and incorporate them into
one’s own as a matter of principle requires a great deal of letting go of fear
and control”(Klock 1). It requires a lot of trust, collaboration and
communication. “It was a powerful demonstration of how to build on someone
else’s ideas, rather than shutting them down to advance your own” (Bluestein 1).
Collaborating is very important in the workplace. People like to see how well
you work with others because that can make a big impact on how efficiently work
gets done.

            Improvisation helps people to stay in the moment and to
listen intently. The Improv Effect
helps people to become better listeners, team players, leaders and helps people
to become better at communicating. It
is a group that was started by Jessie Shternshus in 2007 and her goal is to help businesses reach their full
potential by training them to have better communication skills. Listening to people makes it easier to react to
what others are saying on the spot. Being a good listener is a great trait to
have and it can help you to get your work done the right way without having to ask
too many questions. People who listen to other ideas and contribute to the
ideas without being dismissive can be very likeable people. It is important to have
good people skills and to be able to get along with others if you want to
advance your career.

            “The same principles that
makes someone a good improv comedian can also be applied to your professional
life, where they can actually help you succeed” (Hess 2016). Companies like
Google, Ford, Cisco, etc. are hiring people with backgrounds in the arts
because of their creativity and quick thinking. Universities such as Yale and
Harvard have all taken on improv to enhance social skills and build stronger
teams. Improvisation is based on trust and working well as a team. If these
things cannot be accomplished, it will not be a successful improv team and the
shows will not be enjoyable to watch. You have to be able to trust your team in
order to work well with them. “The
same is true of leaders:  you need a great ensemble, working in concert
around you, to succeed” (Yorton 2015). There is a great deal
of collaboration that goes on during improv and in your career.

            Some people may think that improvisation is a joke and
that it is nothing but a waste of time. There can be many strange ideas that
are said during improv and it can become quite touchy-feely which may be
considered inappropriate for a workplace. Improv provides a false idea of how to
interact with people. In improv any crazy idea is possible but may not be
plausible in reality. Improv is risky and there is a large chance that you may
make a mistake or say something inappropriate by accident. An improviser might
even become overconfident and speak their mind when it is not needed. All of
these before mentioned ideas of improvisation are nothing but opinions. It is
proven that improvisation helps in stressful situations and it can help people
work better as a team. It enhances communication skills and alertness which are
great things to have while working. Being spontaneous or taking risks is never
a bad thing. It only makes you stand out from everyone else which is what
people look for when hiring.

            Improvisation can help with many things such as: enhancing
awareness of verbal and non-verbal communication, improving the ability to
understand how to respond appropriately, developing an idea of when it is
necessary to share and when to listen, and collaborating with a team. Improv
brings out the confidence in people that is needed to be a leader and take
risks. These skills make a great employee and can be extremely helpful in
furthering your career.