Imrovisational theatre (Impro) is fun; more fun, in fact, than a night of karaoke. So how does all of this fun help me build my human capital?
Let’s first define human capital. Simply put, it is the skills you bring as potential to the workplace. Those include hard skills like the ability to operate a crane, or program in C++, as well as soft skills used in management or leadership. It is those skills, the soft skills, which allow for a well-facilitated impro session that will challenge you to learn and grow.
Impro is all about adapting and reacting. Communication is the key to great Impro, just as it is the key to building a great relationship. Listen, interpret, respond. Impro takes listening to a whole new level; we call it whole-body listening. Because we do not use verbal communication, it requires the ability to see and feel what your partner(s) is/are communicating, then interpret, and react, all in realtime, without conscious thoughts clouding up your insight.
Soft Skill Development
This level of interplay, builds confidence, respect, and trust. Trust is a key resources in any relationship, at work or at home. The trust that is developed through our Impro workshops is one based on authenticity, as much as it is based on listening. Are these not the same “soft skills” you need to lead others? Respect for your team. Trust with and for your team. Authentic, open, and honest communication. Sounds like leadership to me.
I started this article saying Impro is fun, and it is. So much fun, in fact, that you probably will not even recognize you are learning anything until later. If you are anything like me, what you will end up doing is seeing the power in this play, then you will want to bring it back to your office and let the staff experience your joy. By doing so, they too will learn, and they will get to see a different side of the boss, too.
I was so impressed when I took a workshop with Dr. Theresa Dudeck, and I immediately brought her work to my EO chapter, and my company, as well as the communications classes I taught at the university. It has paid dividends, which is why I worked to convince her to teach these skills at Lead2Goals!