Why emotional intelligence and improv are bf fs


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Emotional intelligence (EI) is best developed through real-time, creative interactions with other people, in which genuine emotions can be examined and explored. Improvisation cultivates the skills, self-awareness, emotional competencies and adaptability that are so essential to success in these times of uncertainty and creative possibility. There are many natural points of connection between EI and the skills involved with improvisation, which are immediately useful in real-life situations.

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Why emotional intelligence and improv are bf fs

  1. 1. Improv and Emotional Intelligence: BFFs Lifestage, Inc www.lifestage.org
  2. 2. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the expression of a rich interplay of conscious feelings, thought-action repertoires, and attitudes “Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to engage our emotionality in effective ways in order to facilitate positive outcomes in our relationships.” “Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace: An Interview With Dr. Michael Rock” www.canadaone.com
  3. 3. Emotional Intelligence & Applied Improv: BFFS Emotional Intelligence: • Deals with the emotional impact people have on one another; • Is a skill and mind set for becoming aware of and managing emotions; • Is a skill and mind set for navigating fear, especially fear of change; • Improvisation: Occurs through interaction and the impact people have on one another moment to moment; • Grows out of emotional expression and emotional awareness; • Operates out of the basic tenet “follow the fear”; Change and uncertainty are central to the process •
  4. 4. A key to good improvising is to be emotionally connected. Improvisers have great freedom to explore limitless options. Yet they must work together to create scenes and songs, and to do so, they need to be on the same page with the other actors. For this, they must rely on their emotional intelligence. Paul Zuckerman and Linda Gelman, “You Can’t Think And Act” Backstage, June 3, 2010
  5. 5. “Emotions are a signaling system” “Emotional competence requires being able to pilot through the emotional undercurrents always at play rather than being pulled under by them.” Daniel Goleman, Working With Emotional Intelligence, Bantam Books, 1998
  6. 6. Improvisation is training in emotional competence Research shows that the give and take that happens in the brain when jazz musicians improvise, for example, is "grounded in the same neural processes at play in every one of us when we engage in spontaneous selfexpression, like a conversation with a friend.“ Annie Murphy Paul, “What the Jazz Greats Knew About Creativity” TIME http://ideas.time.com/2012/03/21/lear ning-creativity-from-the-jazz-greats
  7. 7. Improv experiences promote deep learning through active engagement Using improvisation in education, training or personal growth settings will: Stimulate emotions; Attract attention; Encourage meaning making; Have immediate application to real-life situations; Create lasting memories of lessons learned; Willdorf, N. “Masters of improvisation,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 4 2000). 46 (37), p. A12.
  8. 8. Good improv grows out of emotionally intelligent interactions Listen, connect and collaborate; Make and keep agreements; Act with generosity of spirit; Maintain awareness of what others say and do; Respond to what is happening rather than imposing ideas; • Collaboration and co-creation rather than control; • • • • • Patricia Ryan Madson, Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up, Random House, 2005
  9. 9. "More active, concrete, experiential methods, such as role plays, group discussions, and simulations, usually work better than lecturing or assigned reading for social and emotional learning. The Consortium For Research In Emotional Intelligence in Organizations In order to reprogram neural circuits connecting emotions and the thinking processes, people need to actually engage in the desired pattern of thought, feeling, and action.
  10. 10. The exercises and activities in improvisation require people to interact with others to achieve a common objective usually to tell a good story. The objective cannot be met if people don't work harmoniously together. In order to reach this goal, people develop the skills and understanding of what is required to work effectively together and how to enjoy it. http://www.beyondanxiety.com/treatment/improv.php
  11. 11. The tensions of the creative process are the materials of emotional growth
  12. 12. Improv principle #1: Take care of each other
  13. 13. Emotional Competence grows through play “We don’t become socially competent by authority figures telling us how to behave-we gain those skills by interacting with our peers, learning what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable.” “The Serious Need For Play” Scientific American Mind Special Collector’s Edition, Winter 2014:
  14. 14. “One of the most remarkable of all human skills is our ability to flexibly adapt to nearly every imaginable circumstance. This ability arises in part from our capacity to regulate emotions that are engendered by the situations we face.” Kevin N. Ochsner & James J. Gross, “Thinking makes it so: A social cognitive neuroscience approach to emotion regulation” K. Vohs & R. Baumeister (Eds.), The Handbook of Self-Regulation (2003) Erlbaum: NJ.
  15. 15. Play has rules and structure. Within them, anything can happen Improv is a training ground for developing situational awareness and responding effectively to unexpected and unpredictable situations.
  16. 16. “Discomfort is a very underrated feeling.“ Julia Louis-Dreyfuss Emotional discomfort in a situation does not require emotional reactiveness; Emotional intelligence is a mind skill set that involves the capacity to regulate emotions and choose how to express them; Getting uncomfortable is necessary for growth
  17. 17. “As we incorporate the new stimuli and information from the improv activity, the activity itself mutates and recomposes in unknown directions. We trust our intuitive instincts to take us somewhere useful, interesting and challenging. We walk the tightrope of our own minds and hearts." ," Joseph Keefe, ImprovYourself: Business Spontaneity at the Speed of Thought . “Improvisation is teaching yourself new behavior, a new way to work, a new way to exist.”
  18. 18. Managing the uncertainty and tensions of change are core competencies of both emotional intelligence and improvisation • Engaging in a creative process with other people; • Trying new things based on mutual agreement; • Reflecting on the experience to stabilize the cognitive shifts that have taken place;
  19. 19. Improv and EI occur within a framework of social belonging “If your sense of belonging and self-esteem have been thwarted, you’ll try to reconnect. Excluded people actually become more sensitive to potential signs of connection, and they tailor their behavior accordingly. They will pay more attention to social cues, be more likable, more likely to conform to other people and more likely to comply with other people’s requests.” Kirsten Weir, “The Pain of Social Rejection” American Psychological Association, April 2012, Vol. 43, No. 4 https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/rejection.aspx
  20. 20. Applied improvisation is a social-emotional experience: • Collaboration with other people in the creation of something entirely new; • Learning through participation; • Being a moving part in something greater than self;
  21. 21. New information linked with social, emotional events is more likely to be received, stored and applied. Emotions can be positive or negative, but either way they are powerful drivers of not only interactions but how the memory of the interaction - and the information - is stored.
  22. 22. Improv strengthens the capacity for emotionally intelligent, adaptable, novel responses to stressful situations This tigress went into a depression and refused to eat after her litter of kittens died. These piglets needed a mother.
  23. 23. Improv is an opportunity to play with emotions through games and scenes – and to examine genuine emotions that arise through play
  24. 24. EI & Improv skill: Situational awareness Situational awareness is the capacity to rapidly grasp an existing situation, let go of assumptions and become aware of preconceived ideas we impose on it, either unconsciously or consciously.
  25. 25. EI & Improv: Adapting without abandoning self The capacity to take in the realities of a situation - not necessarily agree with or approve, but accept what is occurring – and respond creatively, can be learned through improvisation.
  26. 26. Working at the top of our intelligence: an improv principle that parallels EI Practice specificity; Connect patterns; Recognize themes; Add your own unique wisdom into the mix, weaving together the personal, political, and universal for improv that expands ideas; • Develop individual strengths by focusing on co-creation; • • • •
  27. 27. “Good feelings spread more powerfully than bad ones.” Sigal Barsade, “The Ripple Effect: Emotional Contagion In Groups,” Working paper, Yale School of Management, 1998; Sigal Barsade and Donald E. Gibson, “Group Emotion: A View From The Top and Bottom,” in D. Gruenfeld et al (eds) Research on Managing Groups and Teams (Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1998)
  28. 28. Lifestage Trainings: Creative Experiential Evidence-Based 496 Smithtown Bypass Suite 202 Smithtown, NY 11787 www.lifestage.org Contact Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP at 631366-4265 or bookings@lifestage.org