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Isn't It All Just Improv Anyway? Building Successful Relationships in the Workplace and Community


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“Isn't It All Just Improv Anyway? Building Successful Relationships in the Workplace and Community”

Anthony Auston, Richard Oberbruner, Susan Strunk

2012 Public Library Association Conference
Thursday, March 15, 2012, 2:00 - 3:15 p.m.

Published in: Education
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Isn't It All Just Improv Anyway? Building Successful Relationships in the Workplace and Community

  1. 1. Isn’t It All Just Improv, Anyway? Building Successful Relationshipsin the Workplace and Community Susan Strunk & Anthony Auston, Palatine Public Library District, IL Richard Oberbruner, Chicago Improviser
  2. 2. Objective #1 Recognize & utilize the elements of improvto enhance daily interactions
  3. 3. Objective #2 Make the shift from “Right or Wrong Thinking” to seeing your options as“Better Choices & Best Choices”
  4. 4. Objective #3 Move toward a“Yes, and” attitude,Allow for free flow of communication
  5. 5. Objective #4Explore resolution of everyday customer service scenarios
  6. 6. Objective #5Discover the value of laughter when facing uncertainty
  7. 7. The 5 Elements of Improv • Trust • Communication • Acceptance • Building • Spontaneity
  8. 8. Hand Clap Exercise• Key Improv Element: Trust• Clap once simultaneously with the person standing next to you. Then, that person turns and claps once simultaneously with the person standing next to them until a hand clap is passed to all participants.
  9. 9. Build Trust with Eye Contact
  10. 10. Word Association Activity• Key Improv Element: Communication• Facilitator prompts individual or group to say first word that pops into their head(s) based on the word facilitator spontaneously says.
  11. 11. Dr. Know-It-All• Key Improv Elements: Communication & Building• Four people stand side-by-side and answer a question or explain a process one word at a time building a complete thought. The last person adds punctuation.
  12. 12. One Word Sentences• Key Improv Element: Communication• Participants build dialogue by exchanging only one chosen word at a time
  13. 13. Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say
  14. 14. “Yes, and…” Thinking• Brings positive energy to the workplace.• Affirms and expands possibilities.• Endorses acceptance of what has been said.• Moves conversation forward constructively.• Helps create partnerships within the workplace and within the community.
  15. 15. “Yes, and…” Thinking• Key Improv Element: Acceptance• Yes, And - Two character scene where each completely agree or positively reinforce what the other is saying.• No, But - Two character scene where each completely disagree or negatively reinforce what the other is saying.
  16. 16. Solving a problem Training a new employee Working with a community partnerBrainstorming ideas Applying “Yes, and…” Thinking ? Coaching for improved performance Resolving complaints Introducing a service
  17. 17. Conducted Emotion• Key Improv Element: Building• Four demonstrative participants stand side- by-side, each given a specific emotion with which to express themselves verbally about a given topic when pointed-to by the facilitator.
  18. 18. Building to Acceptance
  19. 19. Museum Statues• Key Improv Element: Building• Three participants connect physically and hold their positions for audience to interpret the meaning behind their poses.
  20. 20. Entrances & Exits• Key Improv Element: Spontaneity• Two character scene where conflict develops: one character leaves and another enters to interact with the remaining character. That character leaves when conflict develops only to be replaced by yet another character, etc.
  21. 21. Coping Strategies• Pause/Stop • Suspend Judgment• Breathe • Realistic Expectations• Restate Scenario • Look for Root Cause• Repeat the Question • Find the Positive• Ask for Clarification • Play Along• Use “I” Statements • Change the Setting
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Finding a Fresh Perspective
  24. 24. True in Improv, True in the Workplace: “I made the best choice I could,next time I’ll make a better choice”
  25. 25. Marketing Madness!• Key Improv Element: Building• Facilitator asks the entire crowd a series of questions, one at a time. Choosing one answer shouted out per question, the answer is repeated to the crowd which, in turn, shouts: “Yes, I love it! Its great!” and applauds enthusiastically.
  26. 26. Thank you! Presentation available online at: Susan Strunk: Anthony Auston: Richard Oberbruner: Enjoy the conference! Presented Thursday, March 15, 2012 Public Library Association Conference Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  27. 27. R.O.I. Richard Oberbruner Improv Spontaneous team building Stress Relief Via LaughterImprove Communication Via LaughterLaugh Via Laughter … What the heck (630) 664-6616 Rates that fit your budget. Seriously!