The ability to communicate effectively, to “connect” naturally with your customers, suppliers, management team, and co-workers, is essential for any organization to succeed. After all, people like to do business with people they can trust.
But how do you gain trust?
How do you know if you’re really “connecting” as well as you could?
Are sales stagnant? Could employee morale be higher? Are customers happy with your firm? Do they recommend you to their friends?
The basic principles of improvisation—where the ability to communicate and instantly “connect” with others is crucial—can be applied to a business environment, and a home environment. When I met this concept, it was life-changing for me. In fact, it still is.
Shakespeare wrote that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are but players. I’ve heard this several times throughout my life and have always dismissed it, until I started improvising. Then it finally made sense.
Every interaction is a sketch, a one-act play that can turn into whatever it wants to: a saga, drama, monologue, dramedy, tragedy or comedy. Your world at that time in that moment determines the scene.
Are you present when you are talking to someone? Are you thinking of the next thing you want to tell them, or the next thing you’re going to do when you’re done talking to them? When you are getting ready for the day, are you thinking about what you’re doing at that moment, or is your mind wandering to who you have to call later, your big presentation at work, the fight with your girlfriend. Lost in all of these thoughts, you might be missing out on a lot that’s right in front of your nose.
I was fortunate enough to participate in one of David Razowski’s workshops a few years ago, where I learned this concept. From then on, I make a concerted effort to feel my feelings the moment I feel them. It’s fun to do, and it’s even more fun to think about.
George Carlin said life is what happens while you’re making other plans. I’m not saying to stop making plans; I’m saying you should be there when you make them. Who are you today? What part are you playing? Are you the protagonist? The catalyst? The comic relief? What story will you tell about today when it is done?
This is your life, your existence, your chance to do whatever you want, for whatever reason you want. There is no audience. Everyone else is learning from you and your actions. What assumptions are they making about you in the first few seconds? What role are you playing right now, at this moment? Are you the parent, student, teacher, doctor, nurse, caregiver?
What part do you want to play? Have you memorized your lines?