Congrats! You are an improvisor!

I have some really exciting news. I wanted to tell you something. You – Yes, You – are an improviser. Remember the days when you got called into the principal’s office unexpectedly, okay, so maybe you weren’t that kid. But something happened unexpectedly and you had to react, adapt and communicate, that’s all improvisation is. It’s reacting, adapting and communicating. You’re driving to work this morning and you had to adapt, because the person in front of you, maybe they didn’t turn on their turn signal in time, or they didn’t turn it on at all. And you’re like, Oh, I guess they’re turning. So you had to respond in a way that would get you to work safely, right?

We don’t always have a PowerPoint ready for every conversation we’re going to have with the boss. Your supervisor calls you in unexpectedly and asked you for an update on a project. Since you don’t have the PPT ready, you’re gonna have to shoot from the hip, and you’re going to remember your notes, and you’re just going to have to spill it, right? You’re reacting in the moment. Congratulations, that’s all improvising is. Improvising is also leaning into positively. Oftentimes, we don’t lean into positivity, we lean towards negativity. We focus on what stands in our way, what person didn’t respond to me, how they did not respond in a way I expected. So in turn, we improvise. Improv also teaches us how to really be in the moment with other human beings and make them the priority. This is something I have to do all the time. My husband of 20 years will confirm this for you. I think I already know what he’s going to say. I stop listening halfway through his sentences, because I already have an idea of how that sentence is going to end. I have to remind myself every single day I should stop doing that. I should allow him to talk because what he says is just as important as what I say. So as managers and as coaches, as entrepreneurs and sales people, are we listening to the people that are on the phone? Are we listening to the people that we’re having a conversation with? Or are we just waiting for a chance to talk?

Improv also gives us the confidence to really speak from the heart and speak with confidence. We know that we have the information in our head. Don’t let yourself be defeated by people saying you don’t know enough because you know it, you know stuff! So lean into that positivity and speak with confidence. Happy Tuesday! I know it feels like Monday, but hey, it’s already almost Hump Day. Congratulations. You’re all improvisers. Add THAT to your resume.