Rules of Improv

       Yes and – The act of replacing ‘but’ with ‘yes, and’ is very empowering.  It is the skill of Accept and Build.   When used, it is very respectful in honoring people’s perspectives.  ‘Yes, and’  can assist in moving conversations forward and has people continue to listen instead of shutting down at the ‘but’.  This is a very effective rule to use as a ground rule for any meeting or training session.  It is the number 1 rule of Improv on stage and I believe for life to work in an optimal way with each other!  

     Be in the Now – In order for a scene on stage or a pitch to a prospective client or family member and for things to go well, the actors / participants must stay present in the scene / meeting.  This skill involves really listening and really letting go of personal agendas (control) and focus attention on what is happening and being said to be able to respond and keep the momentum moving forward.

      Be a Character – Taking on another persona can be effective and fun to have us be different when making a request or presenting an idea.  Acting as if you are someone else also takes the pressure off of trying to be yourself.  What would the character say?  How would they stand?  What would they do?  When you use this rule, it’s a given that you will get different results.  It may not be exactly what you want, and the conversation will move forward.  This is one to have fun with.  Create a character for each type of presentation you may deliver or create – Facilitation Guy, Strategic Planning Diva, The Leadership Wizard.  My personal favorite is Flo, the Head Waitress at the Tastee Freeze!  The more fun you have with it, the more others (participants, significant others, staff) will too!  

       Make EVERYONE look brilliant  -  YES, I said EVERYONE!  Always focus on the other person / people - client, spouse, child, new networking connection, or whomever else is present.  Acknowledge their contribution, and ensure they have what they need to do their job, or get what they want.   Never block another person – keep the story going (refer to rule #1!).