Yes And Improv Comedy

Hilarious Evenings of Improv Comedy

The first rule of improv is "Yes And". It helps to keep the comedy aflowin'. And that's what one of Nashville's funniest improv comedy troupe is here to do!

Great Leadership from Great Listening

We’ve all been there at one time or another - you’re pleading a case to the boss about a potential issue rearing its angry head and how to avoid it. At best, it would become a distraction and prevent real work from getting done. At worst, it risks the financial stability of the organization. And yet, while your manager claims to be listening, they really aren’t paying attention to your point. As a result, you end up walking out of their office feeling disillusioned and hoping for the best but fearing the worst. If you’re now the leader today, you’ve probably taken to heart how the above situation made you feel and want to be a better listener to your staff. Take heed from some our improv tips here.

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Overcoming the Unexpected

As a parent, I deal with the unexpected all the time. I have a young kid who has largely grown out of naps, but was recently sick and took a nap late in the day. Since he needed the rest, I didn’t want to wake him, though I knew I’d be hurting later on when he’d be up past his usual bedtime. Much later in the evening, I was playing with him on the floor hoping to wear him out, but instead I was the one passing out from exhaustion. After I finally got him to bed, my unexpected moment came only six hours later. Find out what that was here.

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Searching for Bobby Mentor

Want to know another secret for moving forward in your career? We recently talked about taking a class or workshop outside your comfort zone to give you a new perspective on your job, and below is another path to getting out of a rut and heading towards success. It’s rather simple: be around people with more experience or knowledge than you. You’ll be surprised how much of that rubs off on you! Find out more here.

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Get Out of the Groove to Improve

Do you feel like you’re in a groove at work? If you had to sum up your feelings about your job, would “comfortable” be one of them? You may feel at the top of your game, but if you’ve been using the same skills to stay at that level for a few years now, you might lose the sense of why you enjoyed the job in the first place, and you become more risk-averse and afraid of change. Find out more here. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/get-out-groove-improve-derek-slawson

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All for One...

If you’re like most people, you enjoy being recognized for getting a win at work. In other words, you were able to bring about a huge success for your organization as a result of something you did. This feels great and you surely deserve the accolades you achieved. Hold onto your seats now, for we’re about to suggest something that may at first seem odd. Believe us, though, there’s a huge benefit to it. Find out what it is here

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Alice, Nathan, David

You’re getting sleepy. You’re eyelids feel like they have little weights attached to them, slowly dragging them downward. Your neck is struggling to keep your head upright. Visions of you punching out at the end of the day keep running through your mind. Your head feels like it weighs 20 pounds… now 30.... maybe even 40...Are we trying to hypnotize you? Not at all - the above is a description of how many people in the workplace feel at around 2 or 3 p.m., especially after a large lunch. If you’re like this here is an exercise to help recharge your brain. 

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What fills your organization’s needs?

We’ve been writing over a year now, relating concepts from the improv stage to the world of business. Some of them are easily understood with even a basic understanding of business, and some require a deeper comprehension of what drives your organization. At first glance, today’s topic would seem to fall into the former category, that it should be common sense. Yet, many people have trouble perceiving the necessity of it, so it never gets done, and then we wonder why we have trouble getting ahead or staying afloat in our business. Our focus today? Recognizing the needs of your organization and making moves to filling them.

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What does "Yes, And" mean anyway?

Using techniques from improvisation in the workplace has been growing more and more popular in recent years, something startup business leaders have been especially keen to, per Entrepreneur.com. If you’ve even briefly skimmed an article on how improv helps in business, chances are that you’ve come across the idea of “Yes, and.” We’ve mentioned this concept in passing in several previous articles, but since it’s one of the core tenets of improvisation and incredibly helpful in the business world, it’s worth its own full article to discuss it further.

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Avoiding the United Beat Down

By now, many of us have heard about what happened with a recent United Airlines flight, where the fallout of an overbooking situation and the need to transport United employees to another airport has resulted in a customer service nightmare for the company. You, on the other hand, might be experiencing the best streak of business you’ve ever had, but it only takes one moment like this to quickly turn your fortune around. As really bad customer service experiences tend to spread virally on the internet, should something like that happen to you, you may suddenly be faced with scathing links and reviews populating the top web searches for your product thanks to the negative news. Find out how to avoid getting in the papers here.

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Ending the Corporate Bull Fight

You may want to take a deep breath before reading this. Our featured topic this week might trigger post-traumatic stress disorder in those that have experienced it - we’re talking, of course, about organizational infighting, where individuals in one department butt heads and refuse to help those in another. Those that experience this are often prone to banging their head against their desk, or pulling large tufts of hair out. If you’re an executive manager, we’ll give you some tips here on how you can minimize infighting like this within your organization. 

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Putting the F-U-N into Product Function

Here’s a quick experiment you can do to see how your customers view your product: ask them to list three words or phrases that sum up their feelings about it. You may get responses such as “innovative,” “gets the job done,” or “expensive.” There’s one word, however, that may be a good sign you’re on the way to success should it appear on that list: “fun.”  We’ll go over why that is here and give you some ideas on how to ensure customers see that as a key point of your product.

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Time for Your Check-Up

Just like how you should visit your doctor on an annual basis to check up on your health, you should be evaluating the health of your organization on a regular basis too. If a specific department has an ongoing issue, for instance, you shouldn’t ignore it and hope it goes away. Find out how to self-assess your organization and how improv can help here

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Wearing someone else’s shoes

When you walk the hallways of your office, does your staff give you the briefest of greetings, possibly averting their eyes, or worse yet, do they duck around corners to avoid you? If yes, you might have an empathy problem regarding your staff - in essence, they don’t feel like you share or understand their perspective in the organization. Find out here how improv can help.

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Are Rash Decisions Sinking Your Ship?

Our new president has had a couple of very controversial weeks in office so far. His administration is gaining a reputation for quickly making decisions without getting a full view of what’s at stake from other parts of government. Now, before you jump down to the comment section to belittle us, call us names, and curse our ancestors, please note that we’re not using this article as a political platform. You have a right to your own feelings on our nontraditional leader. On the other hand, we’re using his unusual tactics as a jumping off point for this topic.

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"Monkeys have an easier time using our product than you!"

If you manage a team that deals with customers, whether it’s at a retail store, call center, or business done entirely over the internet, you know how certain people will say the craziest things to get a better deal or to return an item. They’ll come up with any excuse they can think of to take you by surprise in order to get want they want. “I found a dead rat in this box of cereal that, incidentally, I had forgotten my kid doesn’t like.” Or maybe, “I don’t understand where this late fee came from, as it wasn’t in any of the other five statements I received that went straight into the garbage!” But how do you respond to these types of comments effectively? Find out here.

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Resolve Conflict with Respect and Collaboration

With the political climate in the U.S. being what it is, this is as appropriate time as any to again bring up conflict resolution. You can read our first article on the subject here, and in that last piece, we discussed some basic do’s and don’ts when it comes to resolving conflict in the workplace. We’re going to look at a slightly different angle here, though - should you find yourself entangled in conflict with someone else, let’s see how to get the most out of the situation here

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Staff should know their impact

A recent Robert Half survey of professionals shows that employees appreciate knowing that their work helps contribute to their organization’s bottom line. It's well worth keeping your staff knowledgeable about their impact on your organization if it'll help keep their spirits boosted, especially when you consider the cost to hire someone new if they leave. The Center for American Progress did a poll of their own a few years back that shows that it can cost a company roughly a fifth of an employee's salary to replace their position! Read more here.

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Know When Your Body Contradicts Your Mouth

When speaking to someone whose non-verbal communication contradicts their spoken words, your immediate reaction is probably one of two things: 1) bafflement regarding the person’s true message, or 2) a sudden urge to do a Three Stooges-style slap to the other person while asking why they are acting that way. Should you be confused as to why you have such a strong adverse reaction to this behavior, consider that when confronted with conflicting messages, we tend to side with that being portrayed by the body language. Find out some tips here from the world of improv on how to improve this disconnect. 

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How Transparency Positively Affects Your Customers

Lack of transparency in the corporate world has been in the news quite a lot lately. Large internet and cellular service providers have gotten heat for not being open about how they monitor their customers’ data usage, which has resulted in outrageous overage fees, even though the customers had proof that their data usage was nowhere near as high as claimed. Not to mention, a couple of pharmaceutical companies have been stirring up a storm by raising prices of certain drugs and medical apparatuses that many people rely on every day, with one such price increase resulting in a Congressional committee hearing. Read more about how transparency is important to customer service here.

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