Just because we all know how to do it...
doesn't mean we shouldn't know how to do it well. Improv teaches us how to be better conversationalists. Conversation is not just talk; it's how we get everything done that involves people.
You Know Your Business, But Do You Know Your People?
People Skills Are Hard!
Too often "people skills" get stuck in the bucket of "soft skills," compared to the "hard skills" of math, engineering, coding, etc. Just because we all already possess some of these skills (but aren't necessarily born with knowledge of solving a calculus equation), we often assume they're not important or we don't have to practice them.
That's like saying "everyone drives a car, so we don't need to be good at it!" I would argue that it is because everyone engages in conversation that we should get good at it. Conversation is how social action is accomplished. It's how lawmakers legislate, how teachers educate, how police de-escalate. I don't think anyone would say these jobs are "soft."
Neither are the skills needed to get them done. They're absolutely essential. And improv provides an established (and hilarious) toolkit to practice this social action in a non-serious space, honing our skills for the next unexpected moment. My improv sessions allow people to feel secure in their insecurities, to take greater risks, and to win (and fail) as a team.
Reduce Friction, Get Things Done
Your workplace has enough friction navigating regulation, outpacing competitors, reducing costs. Why should you face friction within the office?
Interpersonal communication is not a soft skill; in most workplaces it's the most important skill to accomplish goals. Agreement and listening are the basis of any good improv scene, which translates to more supportive teammates, which means more wins.
Think Differently, Together
Studies show that those who have taken an improv class generate more creative ideas in marketing and close more deals in sales. Aside from learning the basics of "5 Second Likability," improv exercises what has become known as "divergent thinking."
Divergent thinking is not only about finding many possible solutions to any given problem, but also about maintaining a positive outlook, which allows for that creativity.
Be Leaner, Fail More
Failure is essential for any successful business. The quicker a business fails, the more opportunity it has to recalibrate and find success.
You may already preach this to your team, but it's one thing to know it on paper and another to embody it. Improv is entirely embodied and shows how failing quickly — and failing gracefully — are the secrets to a successful and fun improv game.