If you’re looking for ways to improve the cohesive performance of your team of employees, think outside the business box on your next retreat or company training. Improv (short for improvisation) classes, traditionally taken by actors and available through many theater schools, can help people build skills in ways you never thought of before. Here are five reasons why improv might be perfect for your team.
Improv classes typically involve very little solo work (scene study classes are where actors pursue monologues). Because your employees will be working in a group, improv builds teamwork and does it in an entertaining, organic way.
Exercises in improvisation usually start with a prompt given to a group of participants. The group members feed off each other to play out whatever scene they are given. To produce the best results, the team members need to give each other openings or pick up on other people’s lines—a natural way for employees to help each other out.
Teaching Staff to Think on Their Feet
Coming up with the next line isn’t always easy. Improv is ideal for helping people to think quickly. If you work in a fast-paced business environment, you can’t have employees thinking of a great comeback an hour after a meeting—they need to respond right away to customers or colleagues, and improv can help them develop that skill.
Encouraging Being Present
The best way to think quickly is to be continually present in the moment wherever you are, whether on stage or in the board room. Improv encourages participants to listen and have the flexibility to go in any direction. You can’t do that if you’re only thinking about what to say next. Stage presence isn’t just for thespians; it’s essential for any job.
Bringing Shy Employees Out of Their Shells
Do you have employees who are reticent about speaking out in groups? Improv is helpful for shyer folks because it lets them express themselves in a more casual environment, free from the pressures of the workplace. You may find that your quietest staff member is actually the funniest.
Helping the Brain Develop Creative “Muscle”
Finally, taking improvisation classes and carrying those skills into the workplace can help build your workers’ brains in new ways. The same talent employees use to come up with great lines on stage can be utilized in brainstorming sessions. In improv, nothing is too zany or too outside the box, and that’s what you want when your employees are putting their creativity to the test to solve problems and build your business.
To get more ideas about team building adventures, visit a company like Houdini’s Room Escape.