Welcome to Change Your Mindset (formerly known as Improv Is No Joke) where it is all about believing that strong communication skills are the best way in delivering your technical accounting knowledge and growing your business. The way of building stronger communication skills is by embracing the principles of applied improvisation. Your host is Peter Margaritis, CPA a.k.a. The Accidental Accountant, will interview financial professionals and business leaders to find their secret in building stronger relationships with their clients, customers, associates, and peers, all the while, growing their businesses.
Ep. 58 – Allison Estep: Why Improv Education Should be Mandatory (and How it Helps in Every Aspect of Life)
Today’s interview is love at first improv.
Allison Estep is a former Creative Services Associate for the Indiana Society of CPAs and a graduate of the conservatory program at Second City in Chicago. Our conversation focuses on the everyday application of improvisation skills to help us combat fear, take risks, work as a team, and become a more well-rounded person.
Allison strongly believes that every person should take an improv course at some point in their life – it’s simply a great way to learn valuable life skills, like listening, managing your ego, following fear, and working as a team. As a matter of fact, improv games were originally created by Viola Spolin as a teaching tool.
Getting up in front of people (in any situation) can seem like such a scary thing for people that have never been through an improv class, or don’t know everything about the practice, but it’s a little less scary once you realize everyone is part of the same team and everything doesn’t have to be a joke… and sometimes the most mundane things can be the funniest.
Here are a few Improv Games that you can play with your team, friends, or even family.
- The Human Knot – Five or more people create a circle (the more the merrier!). Everyone puts their arms out and grabs another person’s arm to get tangled up. As a group, you try to get untangled without anyone letting go. This game is a great way of learning how to work together as a group to figure out a problem.
- One Word at a Time – Two or more people try to create a cohesive sentence by speaking one word at a time. Don’t think – just react. It’s a great tool for teaching people to listen to understand (and not listen to respond).
- Dr. Know-It-All – Three people sit in a chair and they know the answer to every question that’s ever given… But they answer one word at a time. To be successful, groups they need to really park that agenda, not anticipate / get ahead of themselves, listen to what’s being said, and then react to it.
If you’re interested in taking the next step, find your nearest Improv school and take a class or get in touch with me about coming to your organization.
- Listen to This American Life 532, Act Two: “Rainy Days and Mondays” – A story about how compassion and improv help a woman with dementia
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