Welcome to One Word Suggestion.
Most people think improv is just for comedy or jazz music. But, really, it’s a tool for life. For each article in this series I use a single word, suggested by you, as a leaping off point to explore how having an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level, both personally and professionally, whether you have a career on or off the stage.
One Word Suggestion: Acceptance
In the context of improv people usually frame “acceptance” around the concept of “Yes and,” and that makes sense. After all, “Yes” is all about accepting the reality, or idea, and “And” is all about building on that reality or idea and taking it somewhere awesome.
This acceptance is crucial for creating successful communication and scenes people want to watch. And it’s a great tool for problem-solving and innovation too (especially when combined with divergent and convergent thinking).
And there’s no doubt that getting better at saying “yes’ can help you get more out of life.
People who say “no” live in the comfort and security of their own world. People who say “yes” live lives filled with glorious adventure.
But since “Yes, and” has been so well covered by others, I want to talk about acceptance in the context of community instead, because, as you may have heard in a previous episode, even though LMA is the fastest growing comedy school in Australia, we’re all about community first, and comedy second.
In fact, acceptance and community is a founding principle at LMA. When I first came back to Sydney after studying improv in LA back in 2012, I found the existing scene to be small, cliquey and hard to crack into.
I didn’t feel easily accepted. Maybe it was my accent. Either way, it was that experience that inspired me to build LMA into the antithesis of that.
I wanted to create the sense of connection and warm, welcoming community that exists at some of the top schools in the US – and with the help of our wonderful teachers, overseas advisors, our support team, and students, we have.
Look at any photo from one of our classes, or shows and you’ll see remarkable diversity and undeniable joy – and this is a direct byproduct of the accepting culture and community we’ve built. And it’s representative of the type of culture we believe is possible to create in the workplace too.
Our corporate training spends a lot of time endowing people with tools for more acceptance – listening, agreement, finding the good, supporting each other’s ideas, finding your way through failure and more.
At the end of the day LMA exists to explore and apply the philosophies of improv, and comedy in general, as a tool for self-expression and personal growth so we can all live more authentic, meaningful lives and thrive together as a hilarious, open, and accepting community.
I believe (and have witnessed over and over again) that through the exploration of comedy people can, and do more than discover or develop their inner funny bone, they transform as humans into bigger, better, truer versions of themselves often gaining new levels of confidence, self-respect, and joy along the way.
In other words, they learn to accept themselves – and others – for the beautiful humans they are.
If you want to suggest a word for next week, or add your perspective, drop me a note in the comments or in a review. I’m making one of these every week, for a year, so definitely subscribe, like, share, and all that jazz.
Or better yet, listen to the podcast.
And in the meantime, if you’re interested in improv for personal growth, professional achievement, or just for fun, my suggestion is to get yourself into an improv class or book a corporate training workshop for your team.
You can learn all about PowerProv’s programs at powerprov.com.au
About One Word Suggestion
The One Word Suggestion series is your personal toolbox full of ways to help you use the power of improvisation to craft a more mindful and meaningful existence. Available as articles, a podcast, and soon, a book filled with powerful exercises for teams.
The One Word Suggestion Podcast with Eran Thomson
In each 3-minute episode, Eran uses a single word, suggested by listeners, as a leaping off point to explore how developing an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level personally and professionally.
Whether you aspire to be better on stage or on the job, this quick hit of improv inspiration is sure to bring you some insights, perspective, and joy.
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Learn about the best improv training for teams at PowerProv.