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!

Gain new perspective with empathy

Do you think you’re a good leader? Does your staff think you’re a good leader? The skill you can use to determine the answer is coincidentally one that leads you to actually being a good leader: a sense of empathy towards others around you.

We’ve talked about empathy before, but it’s worth revisiting, as it’s a core trait of being a successful leader. Without it, you’ll lack insight into how your employees view their work, those around them, and the state of your organization. You could miss opportunities for self-improvement. And you may end up ignoring constructive viewpoints that would help you steer away from trouble down the road. Click here to read more.

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Improv for Everyone

We’ve covered applications of improvisation in just about every aspect of business: customer service, sales, management, senior leadership, etc. The art form truly can help you improve in any position. But because we focus on a different area of business each week, you may not realize the true breadth of what improv can do for you and your organization if you’re only an occasional reader. Here's a summary of our articles for the past few months to catch you up to speed. 

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Unleash Creativity in Your Workplace

Picture unleashing unbridled creativity in your work: you’re excited to come into work each day, knowing that you’re not boxed in to just one way of thinking. You’re free to come up with radical solutions to problems, and even if not all of them are winners, you gain a sense of accomplishment for each one that you see put to practice and take physical form. This is that tired old cliche, “think outside the box,” taking physical form. Now, consider what hampers creativity and read the rest of our article on the importance of creativity in the workplace.

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Recognize the signs to pivot

A woman is rocking her arms back and forth, as if gently calming a baby. However, there’s no tiny child anywhere nearby. A friend walks up to her and exclaims, “Julia, are you off your meds again??” Suddenly a third person runs past… and resets the improv scene that was starting to unfold but took a weird turn when the second performer pulled the “crazy person” card. Find out here what this has to do with business and improv.

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Improvised Brainstorming

When you need to communicate to a mass audience, you need to plan out your thoughts in a logical and organized way. Take public speaking, for instance. The physical task of giving a talk in front of others is one of the great fears many of us share, and we’ve provided tips in the past to help you get over those jitters. But many people forget that there’s more to delivering a presentation than simply talking in front of an audience. Found out what more you should do here.

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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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