Delivering a research workshop on Micro-Negotiation




At the beginning of October I travelled to Berlin for the wonderful Applied Improvisation Network Annual Conference.  It was an inspirational gathering of members of the 2,000 strong network of people from all around the world who use the skills of Improvisation to bring about Personal, Corporate and Social transformations.

I was delighted to have been asked to deliver a research workshop to my fellow practitioners on the topic of Micro-Negotiation.  It is no secret that those who practice Improvisation become fantastic negotiators, capable of effortless, real-time, microsecond-by-microsecond win-win negotiations.  The question I was asked to research was “How do we do that?  Is there something that we can teach the world?

The answer that we discovered can be boiled down to a single sentence:-

“We are so successful because we enter negotiation with the goal of finding agreements, not with the goal of achieving our own desires”

Would you like to be a superb negotiator?  Then take the Improv Initiative.

Everything is an Offer – widening your choices with Applied Improv



Improvisers learn that “Everything is an Offer”.  If your scene partner sneezes, you don’t ignore it, you incorporate it into the action, which now becomes about nursing a sick friend.  If your on-stage husband mistakenly calls your character by the wrong name, you use the error to accuse him of having an affair.  And even if your acting partner is struck with stage-fright, and stands there frozen and wide-eyed, it’s still an offer – perhaps they have seen a ghost behind you.

Thriving and successful businesses learn the same lesson.  A disgruntled customer is an offer – a chance to solve their problem and turn them into a loyal follower.  An economic downturn is an offer – an opportunity to win new business by offering customers extra value-for-money. Every potential hazard and misfortune can be transformed into something positive, if you remember that it is an Offer.

Take the Improv Initiative, and learn to capitalise on every Offer.


Applied Improv – Look Good by making others Look Good


Stepping out on stage in front of an audience, without a script or even an inkling of an idea of what is going to happen next, is daunting, even to the most experienced improviser.
The only sure route to success in this situation, is that everyone follows the golden Improv rule “Make others look good”.  Every member of an improv troupe is focussed on making their partners look good, all the time.  That way everyone can contribute energetically, confident there will always be support,  the team will keep them safe, and any mistakes will be mended almost imperceptibly.
Does your workplace encourage that attitude?  Are your team members eager to shine, or eager to make each other shine, and so benefit the entire team.

Applied Improv builds effortless collaboration

Join Our TeamBy Jon Trevor

When 2 inexperienced improvisers step on stage, it often goes something like this:-

“Isn’t it lovely here at the Antarctic”
“What are you talking about? We’re in the middle of the African Jungle”

Each has entered with a firm idea which they are certain will make a great scene, so each is focussed purely on transmitting it to their partner. The result is a confused audience, and scene that immediately stalls and dies.

Experienced improvisers learn to do it differently. They hold their own ideas lightly, and do not assume it’s the best one. They listen and watch carefully, and focus their attention outwards.

They are eager to see and hear what their partner has to offer, and they support it immediately and enthusiastically. By this means, something interesting and lively always emerges.

When you enter a meeting or discussion, how do you enter? Focussed on getting your idea and point of view over, convinced it is the best solution? Or open and listening, eager to see what your opposite number has to offer?

Take the Improv Initiative, and learn to collaborate effortlessly.

Marie Curie Takes the Applied Improv Plunge

MARIE CURIEAnother great Improv Training session last Friday. 12 adventurous people from Marie Curie Cancer Care in Vauxhall threw themselves into a two-hour “bite-size learning” session of Applied Improv. The emphasis of the workshop was on teamwork, listening and effortless creativity.

This time I remembered to get some post-workshop evaluation. I’m so pleased I did, because the responses have been fantastic! 100% of participants felt the skills would be of value in their work role, and 100% also felt that Improv skills could help team functioning within the workplace.

The most rewarding post-event comment? “I was skeptical about the session at first, but after 20 minutes I was enjoying myself. I was surprised how useful and applicable the activities and lessons were.”

To book a team building or leadership Imrprov session for your organisation, get in touch.

The Doctors Will See You Now

nbvtsA group of GPs-in-training were the latest to go through the Applied Improv experience.

Now remember, these are people who work in an environment where even a tiny error can have monumental consequences, and it becomes second nature to them to be careful, thoughtful, and risk-averse. So I really wasn’t sure how they would respond to me spending a whole afteroon encouraging them to stop thinking, go with the flow, accept random choices, and make mistakes with joy and abandon.

The results were nothing short of delightful. This room of serious, studious doctors played with glee and delight, and created some fabulous and inventive moments. But more importantly, they absolutely got the connection between the games we played, and the skills of listening, attending, accepting, responding with awareness, and sensitive teamwork that would be so useful to them in clinical practice.

Two best quotes from the day – “As GPs we need to spend time listening more to patients, and responding and acting on their words, as opposed to using our own words” and “Lot’s of fun – did not stop smiling all afternoon. Thank you!”

To book a team building or leadership Imrprov session for your organisation, get in touch.