You’re always practicing something. Always. And the more you practice something, the more deeply it becomes ingrained in who you are. And the better you get at it.
For example, right now, you’re practicing reading. That’s the obvious part. It gets interesting when we dig a bit deeper.
Right now, what are you practicing besides reading? Some hints: are you also practicing critical thinking? Or are you practicing being open and receptive? Or making connections to things you’ve thought of or read about before?
So take a second….. What are you practicing? Right now?
Did you get an answer? No answer is better or worse than any other. The question to ask is, “is what I’m practicing serving me?”
Is it? Are you practicing things that help you become who you want to be? Are you practicing skills that will serve you, and be of service to others?
Sometimes you may want to eliminate a habit, but more often than not, it’s more about wanting to add more choices in certain situations.
I mentioned critical thinking. That’s a highly rewarded and valued skill in today’s workplace. It’s a great skill to have. No doubt. And… sometimes it might be useful to be able to turn it off and exercise a different choice. Like in a brainstorm session. Or when I colleague brings you (quite vulnerably) the seed of an idea. But if you’ve been practicing critical thinking 24/7 for X years, it might be a challenge to do something different.
Unless, of course, you’ve practiced something different.
And this is why I love improv, and specifically Applied Improv.
Improv is a great way to practice certain skills that may be dormant, in a fun, connective way.
Some of the skills that improv practices are:
~Defer judgment (know you can evaluate later, just not now)
~Listen in order to receive (look for where you can connect)
~Build on what you receive (build up, don’t shoot down)
~Make your partner shine (see and build up others)
~Keep your body open (your body language affects how creative and open you are)
As you look at that list, some of those improv skills might not be what you go to as a default. Which is great! These are not the “right” way and they're absolutely not always called fror. AND… there are times when they can create flow, lead to more innovative solutions, and build trust and cohesion within a team.
Take a moment and imagine in your work, or in your life, where these skills might be of service.
What would it look like? How might things unfold differently? How would it feel to be that version of yourself?
The great thing is, if you want to get better at these skills, practicing them is really really fun! In our Applied Improv workshops, we’ll lead you through a series of very fun improv activities that are followed by short, focused debriefs. Through the debriefs, you’ll identify the skills practiced, and then key areas where they are relevant, useful, and how they can be used.
Way, WAY more fun than PowerPoint!
And it works! And sticks!!!