Why Improv Now: Navigating the Hybrid Workplace

Humans avoid discomfort.

We want to work, live and play in areas where we can show our expertise and feel safe. Yet, in times of crisis or change, effective teams and leaders emerge because they are willing to lean into discomfort, be flexible and adaptable and find solutions in the toughest of situations. In a word, they improvise.

Improv training really pays off for those uncertain times.

Strangely, catastrophic events can be the catalyst for impressive growth. ImprovEdge experienced significant growth after 9/11 and the 2008 housing crisis. And, again during the pandemic when executives and teams found there was no script for this crisis. We guided their teams to be collaborative, no matter what platform or environment they encountered, flexible, agile, and effective to navigate unpredictable times.

Improvisers are trained to lean into the most uncomfortable moments. At ImprovEdge, the most uncomfortable moments in human interaction represent our sweet spot. We shine during the moments that most people run from. We teach people how to manage unknown situations and have those tough conversations—the ones that make your stomach turnover, that you avoid, that you never want to do.

Improv teaches:

  • How to stand up in front of a crowd or how to command a hybrid meeting
  • How to become a more inclusive team member or leader and have conversations that make you nervous
  • How to get back up again after you’ve failed, lost the gig, or (gotten or been) fired

Discomfort is Important – it’s where we learn and grow, and one way you can be improvisational every day is to choose positivity.

Most every high-level executive admits that there was a time that they didn’t do well and now regret. In improv, you have to acknowledge the reality in front of you and embrace the possibility that this is more than one answer to any question and more than resolution to any situation. 

Improv always assumes a positive intent—doing so helps to remove some of the emotion and personal defense/offense from any situation. When you assume positive intent, it focuses all parties on solution, instead of emotion.

Improv gives you the tools to guide those uncomfortable conversations. As the road ahead looks to be full of unexpected twists and turns, improv is a framework that will help you learn the skills needed for today. And one of the most powerful skills we can nurture is to choose positivity.

This article is 100% written by a human named Karen Hough. She is the Founder & CEO of ImprovEdge, in the top 4% of women-owned businesses in the US, a 3-time Amazon bestselling author, Yale grad, wife and mom of three.