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What happens at TEAMprovising?


Using fun improvisation exercises, Milo creates an environment where co-workers can let go of their "office persona". The playing field is even for a day and all are fair game for light-heartedness. Project leads can let someone else be responsible for a while. Recent hires can be in a position of strength -- on equal terms with long-timers and higher ranking team members. 

When I teach this material, I am continually amazed by student's self-realizations during the simple improv exercises that we use in the TEAMprovising workshop: 

Speaking in one voice:  "I couldn't get anyone to follow my lead during that game...until I realized that they were already doing it better than me and I should have been following them!"


Sound ball:  "I kept trying to get what I needed from the people I knew the best, instead of figuring out who could actually give me what I needed."

Gibberish scene:  "It was a challenge for me to take initiative in this [exercise], but I was surprised how easy it was once everyone backed my idea. I anticipated problems that weren't there."


How easily these lessons can be applied to the office or client support!

One of the keys is to set up an environment where it's okay to take chances and it's okay to fail. IMPROVentures takes care to make failure happen during the section called "Failure Games". 


"I'm such a control freak usually. It was fun to really screw up and just laugh with everyone about it instead of getting panicky, like I do at the office."


Another great thing about the TEAMprovising format is that it allows for all levels of interest in the material.  It can pay off even for those who dread the so-called 'touchy-feely" soft skill classes:   


"I really didn't want to do this but I got talked into it. Milo made it okay that I stayed within my comfort level. And I actually did more than I thought I would.  It was fun just being a part of everyone's good time today."


Sometimes, the lessons really hit someone on a level you can't expect. 

Lee had gotten excellent reviews for years but was always passed for promotion. At the end of a private weekend training, she told me that the Status Exercises had been very difficult for her. We talked about it and she realized that, within her family structure, she had never learned that it is okay to be High Status sometimes. 

She began to play with the concept at work and now believes that the lessons she learned with me were important in the success of her next project and her subsequent promotion.

And then sometimes, the lessons are more subtle:


"I don't know quite what I thought of it all, but I sure had fun with everyone."


"I was truly amazed at the way your class brought out the best in everyone there, the team lessons we learned, and the team bonding that happened was truly incredible.


-- Carol A. Amaral, U.S. Marine Corps, training manager



2003 by Milo Shapiro.  All Rights Reserved

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