Valuable Skills for Today’s
Agile Workforce
Presented by:
Kristy Oliver
@ImprovTrainer
Presented to:
Southern Polytechnic ...
Main Ideas
 Improvisation as a skill
 Making better connections
 Listening
 Acceptance
 Adding ideas and moving forwa...
If I were an animal, I’d be
a...
About Me
 Improv Geek
 13 years ImprovisationTraining/Performance
 Over a decade of B2B Sales Experience
 Experience w...
What is Improv?
Misconceptions About Improv
 Improvisation is comedy
 Improv IS what happens when you live in the moment.
 People who d...
Using heightened communication skills in the moment.
•Connecting
•Listening
•Accepting
•Empathetic
•Honesty
•Generous
•Sel...
History of Improv?
 Modern Improvisation as we know it started in the
late 1950’s in what became known as the famous
Seco...
Improv and your career
 Using basic improv concepts can help you grow personally
and professionally.
 http://www.youtube...
Connecting
 “Only a life lived for others is worth living.”• – Albert Einstein
 Improv is a team-sport, as are work and ...
Connecting (cont.)
 If you want to become a better communicator, it’s important to
become more sensitive not only to the ...
Listening
 Seek first to understand, then to be understood” – Stephen R. Covey
 Never expect a certain answer or reactio...
Acceptance
 The Corporate Culture of, “No”!
 In a recent article that was published in PsychologyToday, it was found tha...
Adding and Moving Forward
 “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making
other plans.”-John Lennon
 Workplace dy...
Fail and Feature it
FromTina Fey’s Bossypants,
“There are no mistakes, only opportunities, which doesn’t mean that things ...
What have we learned?
 Look to each other to find authentic, trusting
and deep connections. Look, listen and interpret
cu...
ThankYou!
Kristy Oliver
Atlanta Improv Events, Inc, Founder and Facilitator
http://www.linkedin.com/in/kristy2007/
@Improv...
Valuable skills for today’s agile workforce
Valuable skills for today’s agile workforce
Valuable skills for today’s agile workforce
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Valuable skills for today’s agile workforce

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Professional development in the workplace using basic improv skills.

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Valuable skills for today’s agile workforce

  1. 1. Valuable Skills for Today’s Agile Workforce Presented by: Kristy Oliver @ImprovTrainer Presented to: Southern Polytechnic University Continuing Education 8/8/13
  2. 2. Main Ideas  Improvisation as a skill  Making better connections  Listening  Acceptance  Adding ideas and moving forward  Failing and featuring it
  3. 3. If I were an animal, I’d be a...
  4. 4. About Me  Improv Geek  13 years ImprovisationTraining/Performance  Over a decade of B2B Sales Experience  Experience working in media, real estate, creative, recruiting and technology sales.  Making my passion my work, infusing improv and business experience offering workplace training and professional development- Atlanta Improv Events.
  5. 5. What is Improv?
  6. 6. Misconceptions About Improv  Improvisation is comedy  Improv IS what happens when you live in the moment.  People who do improv must be funny  People who do improv , connect, listen, agree and add.  Improv is not for everyone  Improv IS for anyone, we do it everyday, all of us. It can be difficult for those in the traditional workplace to wrap their mind around improv. The business mind wants to have all the answers and think about the future. Improvisers don’t dwell on the future. They focus on the right now. If you focus on what’s in front of you right now, the future will take care of itself. This concept is very difficult for the business mind to grasp.
  7. 7. Using heightened communication skills in the moment. •Connecting •Listening •Accepting •Empathetic •Honesty •Generous •Selflessness •Confidence •Playfulness •Forgiveness •Spontaneity Improv is...
  8. 8. History of Improv?  Modern Improvisation as we know it started in the late 1950’s in what became known as the famous Second City in Chicago. It is known as one of the original training schools for improv, and is still going strong. Among the talent coming out of Second City Improv training.....
  9. 9. Improv and your career  Using basic improv concepts can help you grow personally and professionally.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xstzSihSu44&feature=s hare&list=PLs6ET6shI-d3R6tmxVnYTsdm3A-CnfxEt  “The potential of improv as it relates to business should not be undervalued. “Some people misunderstand improv…it seems that improv is all about being funny. But it is not. Improv is about being spontaneous. It is about being imaginative. It is about taking the unexpected and then doing something unexpected with it.The key is to be open to crazy ideas and building on them. And funnily enough, this is exactly what is needed if we are going to make our enterprises more creative and agile.” -Paul Sloane,The LeadersGuide to LateralThinkingSkills
  10. 10. Connecting  “Only a life lived for others is worth living.”• – Albert Einstein  Improv is a team-sport, as are work and life. To have a successful improv scene, you must connect to the other player and focus on your relationship. It’s easy to forget about this when performing on a stage in front of people, and just as easy to forget in the workplace or when trying to get a job, or a promotion. But life is about relationships and connections, not material objects or status.  The way you listen, look, move, and react tells the other person whether or not you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening.When your nonverbal signals match up with the words you’re saying, they increase trust, clarity, and rapport.When they don’t, they generate tension, mistrust, and confusion.
  11. 11. Connecting (cont.)  If you want to become a better communicator, it’s important to become more sensitive not only to the body language and nonverbal cues of others, but also to your own.  Eye contact is one of the key signals that we are engaging on a deeper level of connection…Listening. Source: http://bradfortier.com/2013/07/16/what-can-improvised-theater- teach-us/ http://www.humorthatworks.com/learning/10-life-tips-from-improv-class/ Authors:JeanneSegal, Ph.D., Melinda Smith, M.A., Greg Boose, and JaellineJaffe, Ph.D. Last updated: May 2013.
  12. 12. Listening  Seek first to understand, then to be understood” – Stephen R. Covey  Never expect a certain answer or reaction. Just listen and react to what was actually said.”  Our education system has taught us to listen to react–to start to formulate an answer for the question our teacher is asking us, before she’s even finished asking it. The problem is that in meetings and conversations, we stop listening once we think we know what someone is going to say because we start thinking about our response–often missing the true point of what is being said. If you want to be a better communicator, stop assuming you know what is being communicated and start listening to what is actually being said.  Listening is a muscle that can be strengthened with regular practice.  Exercise it!  Source: http://www.humorthatworks.com/learning/10-life-tips-from- improv-class
  13. 13. Acceptance  The Corporate Culture of, “No”!  In a recent article that was published in PsychologyToday, it was found that the word “no” can have a distinct impact on our ability to reason, communicate, and think logically. The “Yes,And Rule in improv.  How does theYes, And rule apply in the workplace? Corporate cultures can be very competitive. A competitive workplace can create a culture where everyone is looking out for themselves. When people are shooting down other’s ideas and managers are not listening to their employees because they are afraid of change, ideas that could develop into something amazing are left to die and employees are often miserable. If companies use the improv rule of “Yes, And”... they open the door to ideas that would normally get ignored and missed altogether. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/words-can-change-your- brain/201207/the-most-dangerous-word-in-the-world
  14. 14. Adding and Moving Forward  “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”-John Lennon  Workplace dynamics have a knack for keeping people from their more creative selves. Improv teaches us to respond quickly, move forward, use what’s in front of you allowing the creativity to flow.  Always be progressing.  Everything is moving at a faster rate today, the economy, business, technology.....and you cannot afford to stay in one place.
  15. 15. Fail and Feature it FromTina Fey’s Bossypants, “There are no mistakes, only opportunities, which doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong, but that it’s your job to make the best of the situation you find yourself in. …. In improv there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents. And many of the world’s greatest discoveries have been by accident. I mean, look at the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, or Botox.”  In corporate environments, people are most often afraid to fail. Making a mistake is usually not encouraged. However, in Improv we are taught to take a risk, fail, and find something amazing in the process. Some of the world’s most amazing discoveries were mistakes....  Penecillin-one of the most famous and fortunate accidents of the 20th century  Post-it Notes  The Slinky  Coke-Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton was trying to make a cure for headaches. He mixed together a bunch of ingredients , and Coca-Cola was born.
  16. 16. What have we learned?  Look to each other to find authentic, trusting and deep connections. Look, listen and interpret cues from peoples’ expressions. This connection is the building block to all communication  Listening takes practice. You can learn more by saying nothing. Only react off what others give you.  By agreeing, accepting, and saying, “Yes, And”, we move leaps and bounds toward accomplishing forward movement and achieving goals and finding solutions.  When you remove competition, walls crumble and you allow yourself to fail.This is when the best ideas flourish.
  17. 17. ThankYou! Kristy Oliver Atlanta Improv Events, Inc, Founder and Facilitator http://www.linkedin.com/in/kristy2007/ @ImprovTrainer www.atlantaimprovevents.com “Fall, then figure out what to do on the way down.” Del Close “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato

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