This Is What Happens When You Start Doing Improv At Work

August 9, 2017

Develop leadership in your team with some creative improv. This is what it can do for the benefit of your business

improvisation workshop

Improv based creative thinking is a powerful tool to practice in a business setting

Have you ever seen a stand-up comedy improv show and laughed so hard you cried? Did it cross your mind, “I could NEVER do that” because the thought of performing with no lines sounds like a clammy, terrible nightmare?

The future of business leadership

What you may not know is that improv comedy is beginning to take center stage in the business world as a way to improve employee job performance, boost collaboration, and even as a powerful therapy tool used to rehabilitate those suffering from anxiety disorders.

What does improv have to do with employee performance?

Bringing improv classes to your office is not only a killer team-building activity, it’s also a powerful tool for empowering women in the workplace. “Improv is full of continuing education and learning opportunities”, says expert improv leader Jen Brown. “I find that women gain the most self-awareness. If you aren’t self-aware, you can’t figure out what feels right in your personal communication style.”

Since 2012, Brown and her company “The Engaging Educator” have helped over 25,000 non-actors improve their presentation, communication, and social skills through improv-based workshops. The results of these classes are staggering, and that’s why she works with teams from Uber, Intel, Bloomberg, Google and many more leading companies to improve their employee’s business skills.

have an improv workshop in the office

Use improvisation to affirm and elevate your co-workers

“Improv teaches personal and interpersonal skills that are invaluable in a professional setting”

says Brown. “By taking a step back and working the skills required to be comfortable in your own skin, you also gain comfort in speaking up and responding to situations versus reacting to them.” One exercise called “say yes, and…” is the perfect example of this. In this exercise, whatever your partner says, you must affirm by saying “yes” and go one step further by adding something to it. This classic example of improv-based creative thinking is a powerful tool to practice in a business setting. Real-world skills learned with improv exercises like these are:

  • Affirming and elevating peers
  • Leadership skills
  • Problem solving
  • Active listening
  • Clear communication
  • Creativity

Sounds like the wish-list for an ideal employee, right? That’s because improv is a team sport that requires every player to have their head in the game. There is a direct, tangible result from these classes to the real world… Because if you want to create an unstoppable team, there is nothing more powerful than a non-judgmental environment for teammates to collaborate, inspire, and support one another.

Is it too good to be true? We think not. Workshops from the Engaging Educator demonstrates that improv is like going to the gym for your brain. “We believe improv is a lifestyle that needs to be practiced consistently and by everyone. It is not our goal to make actors;” Rather the classes are for people looking to work on skills related to business such as communication, leadership, and teamwork. So say yes, and see what happens!

Read more about Jen’s experience “Improv(e) Your Communications”!