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: Dolphins
This week’s word, “Dolphins” was suggested by Jeffrey.
Dolphins are widely agreed to be one of the most intelligent species on the planet.
Anyone who’s seen the TV show “Flipper” knows that their level of individual intellect – and sense of humour – is high.
They have been known to save the lives of other animals and stranded swimmers, they know how to use shells and sea sponges as tools, and they’ve even run secret missions for the US Navy.
But part of what makes dolphins so super smart is they almost always choose to hang out in pods. Like experienced improvisers, they understand that together they have a better chance of thriving and surviving.
By having each other’s backs (or dorsal fins as the case may be) and supporting each other in their own undersea world.
As a group, they can find more fish, warn each other about predators in nearby waters, and when necessary, find safe harbour.
Most of the time when we see dolphins they’re surfing waves with glee. Or enjoying a feeding frenzy amongst a pool of less fortunate fish. Or showing strong leadership skills at the bow of a boat.
Despite the ever-increasing number of threats to their existence like plastics, petroleum, JetSkis, ghost nets, and hungry sharks, they continually play to the top of their intelligence.
Above the sea, we humans have our own challenges. So what can we learn from Dolphins?
We’re better when we work together – good communication and collaboration skills are critical.
We’re better when we learn together – sharing knowledge, experience and expertise without ego is key.
We’re better when we play together – unstructured adult playtime is critical to our happiness and success.
And if we get good at these things, we’ll thrive together – by supporting each other’s actions, choices, and ideas.
The life of a dolphin may look playful and carefree, but under the waves, they tackle daily challenges just like we do. But by arguably having an improvisational ensemble mindset they vastly increase their odds of survival and success as a species.
Predators and problems will always be round, but by using their collaborative powers dolphins are able to navigate through the sea of life and arrive in their happy place.
And so can you.
Thanks for all the fish.
So that’s my take on Dolphins. Thanks for the great suggestion Jeffrey.
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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