How improv can be a powerful tool for business
It has been well documented that improv training can build fundamental "soft skills" including communication, collaboration, and resilience. In addition, a growing body of research has determined the benefits of applied improv in promoting deep learning and developing leadership. Today, a majority of senior business leaders say that these so-called soft skills are more important than hard skills: a recent report by LinkedIn Learning states that the most in-demand skills from employers are creativity, persuasion, and collaboration. So here's how improv helps develop all three:
Connecting dots that are seemingly unrelated to generate original, useful
solutions is an incredibly valuable skill in every employee, regardless of what
industry or country. Many improv games hone these muscles by connecting seemingly unrelated concepts to create something original and valuable. Organizations need creative employees who can conceive the solutions of tomorrow.
Having a great product, a great platform or a great concept is one thing,
but the key is persuading people to buy into it. Persuasion is convincing others to buy into your idea or a different way of doing things to build consensus or make a
decision. It’s one of the most powerful communication skills for all employees to
have in their skillset. Many improv games simulate real-world situations, allowing us to practice how to be strong storytellers, adapt to uncertainty, and project confidence but in low-stakes settings. In our student classrooms, for example, the Job Interview game hones all of the skills you would need in a real job interview, but in a fun way, because you're interviewing for the role of chicken nugget scientist, plant whisperer, or anything equally silly.
Improv is all about collaboration - one of the key rules of improv is to have a "team-first" mentality, which means that you can look good by making your partner, or team look good. Collaboration is especially important in the workplace as projects grow increasingly complex and global, and as you may be working closely with people you may not have "met" in person due to this new age of remote work.