"We will finally move into our destiny when we realize we are to live in, and as, adventurous play."
Brian Swimme (physicist)
Improv theater is a wonderful metaphor, and a dynamic laughter filled experiential training for leadership development. The skills that make improv theater work are the same skills that are used in creating effective teams in any environment. Improv is a dynamic, and truly fun way to explore the important skills that make any intact team successful. Skills such as flexibility in thinking, active listening, being positive in the face of the unknown, and being truly supportive of your fellow team players are at the core of good improv.
Creativity, communication and collaboration are vital in today’s fast-paced work environment and participating in an Improv training will empower your employees to master these skills and apply them to their specific jobs.
And it will be fun!
“More suffering is caused by miscommunication that anything else in the world.”
We humans spend a lot of time talking, and with cell phones and the internet our daily contacts with each other have exploded and yet, do we truly listen to each other? We are not taught in schools truly effective ways to communicate, how to share our feelings and needs without blame, or to hear about another persons’ experience without judgment. We often leave a conversation without a deeper sense of understanding or connection. This is particularity true whenever we encounter conflict triggered by our own or others uncomfortable feelings.
Most of us rely on our instincts of fight or flight when we feel threatened, even though it is evident that this approach doesn’t work. Whether it is in our personal lives or in our day to day work life healthy, thoughtful, compassionate communication is vital to our well being.
Conscious Communication makes a remarkably simple observation that when we try to settle disagreements by deciding who is right and who is wrong, or from a place of power, we unknowingly create more conflict. Instead of resolving issues, this reflex of judging each other increases opposition and perpetuates struggles between us that undermine our basic need for connection and support.
However there is hope. Effective, heartfelt communication can be learned and is remarkably simple to understand. I have been teaching conscious communication for many years and I believe it is fundamental skill that everyone can be and should learn.
3 hour introductory training – An introduction to conscious communication and the art of Supportive Listening.
6 hour full training – Learn the skills of supportive listening and in addition learn how to communicate clearly and compassionately while in conflict
Conscious communication was created by Miles Sherts. Miles was inspired by the wonderful work of Marshall Rosenberg the founder of Non Violent communication.
Consciousness Communication by Miles Sherts
“A Play and Humor perspective is the ability, the skill, to access joy in adversity.”
Stress is real and when too much stress is experienced our health and well being suffers. Physical Exercise, mindfulness, relaxation exercises, yoga, Tai Chi, etc., are all very beneficial in reducing stress. However often overlooked in this journey of wellness is looking at life in a positive, open minded, curious and lighthearted way. In other words having a perspective, a mindset, that includes joy, laughter, and positivity is a KEY component of any wellness plan and these are skills that can be learned.
Laughter Yoga in essence is a new form of exercise akin to internal jogging that promotes the use of laughter as a means to promote wellness through connection and joy. It was created in India in the mid-1990s. Laughter yoga's core premise is that your body can and knows how to laugh, and through fun, playful, simple physical exercises we voluntarily elicit laughter together. Because it follows a body-mind approach to laughter, participants do not need to have a sense of humor, know jokes, or even be happy. The invitation is to “laugh for no reason“, faking it until it becomes real.
Laughing is an easy way to strengthen all immune functions, bring more oxygen to the body and brain, foster positive feelings and improve interpersonal skills. The theory is that laughter releases feel-good neurotransmitters such as endorphins, reduces stress, benefits the cardiovascular system (listen to your heart beating just a touch faster) and is a source of positive energy. Laughter invites connection and lets you know that there is connection. It instantly settles your nervous system into a relaxed and joyous state.
Laughter yoga is s simple and effective means to help people to tap into this physical practice of connection, joy and positivity.
I am a certified laughter yoga leader and a one hour laughter yoga session is great as a break out session at conferences, or a fun optional class at a yoga studio or can easily be incorporated into a half day or full day long, play and humor perspective workshop.
Creativity and Innovation
"Life is creative. It explores itself through play, intent on discovering what's possible. Can we bring this creative play of the world into our lives and organizations?"
Play, at its core play is an experience of imagination and creativity. Children are true masters of imagination and as we grow into adults imagination, creativity and innovation are continually helpful. After all it was Einstein who said, “imagination is more important than knowledge.” In all areas of life creativity and Innovation are the lifeblood of any successful organization. I am a senior consultant with Idea Champions one of the leading organizations that provides brainstorming, team-building and creativity training for corporations and non-profits. Idea champions has worked with many fortune 500 companies and Mitch Ditkoff the founder of Idea Champions is a highly sought after speaker on innovation and creativity.
Recently Mitch hes launched Breakthrough Summits a comprehensive conference service helping organization truly deepen their impact in the world by helping them to design and deliver a conference that is meaningful, fun and responsive to the needs of everyone. I offer my Improv theater presentations and teambuilding workshops for organizations through Idea Champions.