Improv, short for improvisation, is an art form that involves creating spontaneous performances without a script or predetermined plan. At first glance, it may seem unrelated to the business world, but I recently realized its profound impact on my professional growth. Here are three ways that improv has made me a stronger consultant:
- Enhanced Communication: Improv thrives on active listening and collaboration. In business, clear and concise communication is paramount to success. Through improv, I must actively listen, respond in the moment, and build upon ideas from others — essential skills for effective meetings, negotiations, and presentations. I have been able to connect more authentically with clients and colleagues, fostering stronger relationships and outcomes.
- Adaptability and Creativity: Improv teaches how to embrace change and uncertainty, as every scene unfolds differently. I’ve learned to think on my feet, adapt to unexpected challenges, and embrace failure as an opportunity for growth. This adaptability has allowed me to navigate changing business priorities. Whether brainstorming innovative solutions or pivoting strategies, improv has enabled me to handle uncertainty and turn it into an advantage.
- Trust and Collaboration: Improv relies heavily on trust and collaboration among performers to create seamless and engaging scenes. My improv partners and I develop a deeper level of trust and reward collaboration. Embracing this spirit helps me build cohesive work teams, generate fresh ideas, and solve complex problems together.
Learning improv has been an exhilarating journey for me, full of unexpected discoveries. I highly encourage people to explore the world of improv, whether by taking an improv workshop, joining a local theater group, or even organizing an improv session for a work team. The spontaneity found in improv can be a great catalyst for growth and innovation!