How well does your team relate? I recently had the delightful privilege of co-delivering “Right Here, Right Now” a ground-breaking Applied Improvisation training day for psychotherapists. This was a partnership programme, between Improv Initiative and Cascade Therapy. If I may…
So what happens in an Applied Improvisation workshop?
You will laugh a lot! Seriously. The stuff we do in Applied Improvisation is important, attitude-changing, paradigm-shifting, high-voltage experiential learning. But it’s also enormous fun and inevitably funny. It is always undertaken in a supportive environment that allows us to play safely.
Yes, I did say play. I’m not going to hide the fact, you will play games. Games are absolutely central to what we do. They are not childish or meaningless. They are not “icebreakers” before the “real” work starts. They are the real work. They are learning cauldrons. Improv games are designed to bypass the limitations of your conscious intellect and ego, and plug into the extraordinary raw power of your unconscious. The games and exercises we play are the crucible in which we can experiment with different behaviours and states of being.
Alongside playing the games will be time for reflection, to apply the learning to our day jobs and our lives. We will discover what happens when we stop being paralysed by worrying about mistakes, and trust others to support us when make them; we will investigate how it feels to have no idea what is coming next, but to await it with “delighted anticipation”; we will experiment with different internal attitudes, and find out which ones help the team play well, and which hinder; we will experience what if feels like to be truly in the moment, and fully aware of what is happening in the here-and-now.
All of this, I promise you, will be fun, thought-provoking, and ultimately a potential doorway to huge change for you and your colleagues.