Improvisational comedy has lot to teach us especially when it comes to how to handle ideas in the corporate world. Ideas are extremely fragile. They appear but for a moment and it only takes one ‘but’ or a ‘no’ to quell it. Rarely do ideas ever survive criticism at the formative stage. It is when they are at their most fragile state that they need care and someone to fuel it and agree. This is when improv comedy comes in with its ‘Yes, And’ rule.
This is a wonderful concept and one that should be used not just for ideas but also for conversation in general. Have you ever observed just how often we respond with a ‘but’ or a ‘maybe’? For me personally, it has been exceptionally hard to bury my ‘Buts’ and not play the devil’s advocate, but the change is visible. The willingness to share has increased dramatically and the quality of conversations are remarkable.
Improv rules also vehemently state ‘Don’t Block’. The principle behind improv is essentially idea nurturing. It expects the theatre artists to build on the ideas of one another to come up with an exceptional demonstration of collaboration to draw extraordinary results. The corporate world isn’t much different. So go ahead and take a class in improvisational comedy now!
Here are a few more of the inspirational improv rules:
- Say “yes’and!”
- Add new information.
- Don’t block.
- Avoid asking questions- unless you’re also adding information.
- Play in the present and use the moment.
- Give information to your partner
- Listen to your partner
- Respond to your partner
- Sooner is better than later. Do it now.
- Have Fun and Relax