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Be Bold, Creative and More In-the-Moment in 2015 with These Improv Basics

As we kick off the New Year many of us focus on all facets of self-improvement. From greater kindness and philanthropy to better organization or fitness – we all want improved living in 2015.

Being long-time student of improv myself (more the Second City/ImprovOlympic/Nichols & May-type, not so much the Drew Carey/Wayne Brady-ilk), I am frequently pushing the core life benefits that are found through improvisation. So if you are looking for a few smart tips to enrich your daily life and even sharpen your creative team skills, here are a few ways to start your year off in a brave, bold direction:

First, make no mistake; life improv – on stage or in a small group – is terrifying. Thankfully, all improv relies on a strong team mentality to work effectively. That said, the grand-daddy of all improvisation rules is “Yes, and.”

Yes, and is only two words, but they speak volumes.

Yes: As your teammate, I will always listen and respect what you have to say. I will accept it as truth. Every idea you offer is a gift. There are no wrong answers. Although I may not agree, I will respect your thinking.

And: It is my responsibility to add on to your idea with my own to make it the best it can be.

Do not deny – In a safe creative environment like a brainstorming, every idea is a good idea. Do not judge, only add positive energy.

Play to the top of your intelligence. Always give your best thinking and expect the same of your teammates.

Be spontaneous. Out of your head, into space. Don’t overthink. Be fearless, be bold and be in the moment. Even the smallest contribution can be monumental.

Be honest. Nothing resonates more than the truth – in storytelling, in work and in life.

Put these fundamentals to work in your daily and work life and see for yourself how much more vibrant your ideas and tighter your team relationships can be in the New Year.

For more information about the basics of Chicago-style improv, check out “Truth In Comedy” by Charna Halpern and Del Close.

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