Improvisation, a unifying activity

Team spirit is a skill that works. Why not rely on improvisation and employee creativity to improve it?

In business, there is little room for improvisation if you want to achieve your goals and be professional. But that doesn’t mean that improvisation has no place in the office! In fact, as a team building activity, you can hardly do better. “We have very good feedback, both from participants and from businesses,” illustrates Kate Bradley, Director of Corporate Events at Impro Montreal. “Recently, one employer even told us that communication in the office had been improved through the techniques applied.” The company has offered improvisation services, workshops and shows since 2008. “What is interesting is that in addition to the undeniable pleasure, improvisation teaches methods useful for professionals, but which are not seen in school,” Kate Bradley continues.

Fun and personal development

Among the aspects that can be worked through improvisation are communication, team spirit, listening, quick thinking, collaboration, stress management and letting go. This last point may seem surprising, but it is relevant both in business and in improvisation. “We have to be able to recognize the limit of our control,” says Kate Bradley. “In improvisation, we accept the other’s proposal, and improve on it.” Obviously, everything also depends on the intention of the company that sets up such an activity. Does the employer only want to build social relationships or is it looking to develop skills for use every day? In the latter case, regular on-the-job exercises may be performed following the workshop.

But to get there, you first need to be able to get involved and overcome the shyness and discomfort that can be felt. “We’re definitely out of our comfort zone. And when the activity takes place in the theatre, the venue itself can be intimidating,” Kate Bradley admits. For this reason, the games proposed to begin with are often extremely simple and are done in small groups or with two people. “A game may seem very simple, but it will work on several relevant aspects,” she adds. And even if you play as a duo, you have to present and share with the rest of the group, so team spirit remains essential.”

One thing is certain: once you get wet, you end up taking the plunge!

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