But what most people don’t know about improv is that the same skills Ryan, Colin, and Wayne use to make millions of people laugh are also the same skills that can build relationships and increase productivity.
It’s called applied improvisation and it’s one of the most effective ways to can help your team learn substantially more.
Here are 5 things participants will do in an applied improv team-building event:
1. Experience something new.
One of the first things participants notice is that this isn’t their typical presentation, workshop, or activity. The space is cleared out, the chairs are set to the side, and there isn’t a PowerPoint deck in sight.
All of the exercises are done in an open space and the learning and connecting takes place in the moment through experiential exercises. This breaks the norm of what they’re used to and gets them primed to learn.
2. Participate (all of them, even Steve).
In a standard presentation, people can zone out, do other work, or try to learn how to spin a pen on their fingers. Even in some team building exercises, people can find ways to stay hands off and let others do all the work (and all the connecting).
With applied improv team building, everyone is involved in every exercise. There’s no standing off to the side or sitting out of an exercise. Everyone participates, everyone connects, and everyone learns.
3. Build on a key skill for work.
One of the biggest constraints most organizations have is time. There’s never enough time to train and develop the organization while also building the relationships within it. So why not do both at the same time?
Applied improv team building not only helps people get to know each other, but can also teach them a key skill. The games and activities can be centered around a hot topic in that organization, whether it’s communication, problem solving, negotiation, conflict resolution, or nearly* anything else.
*Not even applied improv training can teach some people not to hit “reply-to-all” on massive email chains.
4. Learn about each other.
Most team building exercises hinge on the fact that when people share experiences, whether positive or negative, they become closer together. That’s definitely great, but what if your teams could share a fun, positive experience AND learn about each other at the same time?
With applied improv team building, that’s exactly what happens. Through the exercises and debriefs, participants not only try something new together, they learn more about the people they’re working with as well.
5. Laugh. A lot.
Finally, because of the nature of improv, it’s natural that the group will laugh while learning.
The exercises set participants up to succeed and showcase their natural skills. The funniest moments come from honest reactions and insights, something that happens naturally in improv. The best part is that it’s all done it a positive way. This isn’t laughing at each other, it’s laughing with each other.
Applied Improv Team Building
Interested in finding out how applied improv team building could work for your organization? Check out TeamProv with ComedySportz. And the next time someone asks what improv is, you can say it’s not just what they do on that one show, it’s that thing I learned at work.
About Andrew Tarvin
Andrew Tarvin is a humor engineer, best-selling author, and lead facilitator of TeamProv for TeamBonding. To read more about how humor can make you more productive, visit his site on humor at work.
The corporate world is experiencing a massive shift. A new generation is entering the workforce, many are retiring, and the formula for leadership is being re-invented. Dictatorships are giving way to collective organizational vision creation. Our titles, age, or departmental role do not define us. Focus is shifting from individual acceleration to purpose-driven teamwork. (more…)
Communication affects teamwork in positive and negative ways. The quantity and quality of communication within a team and from leadership affects teamwork. The more collaboration your projects require the more assertive and intentional your communication should be. Every member of the team needs to take the initiative to communicate. When a team is not actively communicating, their work is at stake. It’s important for everyone to learn how to communicate effectively to improve teamwork. (more…)
We learn early in our lives that it’s better to win, and in order to win, we need to be competitive.
“Leaders must invoke an alchemy of great vision.”- Henry Kissinger In order to lead, sometimes it is necessary to inspire. Leaders invoke the passion and drive into their team in order for hard work to be done. Team bonding quotes have the ability to encourage, but they also allow us to remember the great leaders of the past.
Turnover Formula: Employee turnover is the percentage of workers who leave your organization, the employment relationship ends and they are replaced by someone new. Attrition is different. This generally refers to the end of the employment relationship due to retirement or job elimination or employee death. When attrition occurs, the position is not filled with a new employee.
Team building applies to any field, even a football field. Following my favorite sports teams is my number one hobby! It’s fascinating to see how the most intense sports teams perform; the way they communicate, work together and understand each other. As fans, we care about the win! However, we have no idea what effort goes on behind the scenes. I realize that to have such a fierce demeanor as a team, it takes some work, teamwork. For players to cooperate, commit, and triumph, they first establish a fundamental core with team building.
As summer time ticks away the stores have gone from seasonal sections of gardening and outdoor to school supplies. Aisles upon aisles filled with everything from erasers and rulers to back packs and water bottles. There is a palpable excitement amongst the youngest of school goers as the seasons change from summer to school.
Don’t have the big budget for a team building extravaganza? No worries! We’ve got you covered with plenty of Do-It-Yourself Team Building Products you can choose from in our DIY Store. You don’t always need tons of time or money for a big team building activity or retreat.
Enter your email and we’ll add you to our newsletter of helpful tips, tricks, and techniques.