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: Honesty
This week’s word “honesty” was suggested by Amy.
So, when it comes to honesty I think we can all agree that being truthful in life, and on stage is important.
And in general, being open, authentic, and honest will get you much further than always trying to be the funniest or smartest person in the room. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
In their book “Improvisation At The Speed of Life,” T.J. Jagodowski and David Pasquesi talk about honesty in improv and they say something like: “Honesty is a deceptively simple endeavour that involves as much not doing (not panicking, not bluffing, not doubting) as it does doing (being present, listening, and paying attention).”
They believe fear holds most improvisers back from being honest on stage – fear of being vulnerable, fear of looking stupid, fear it won’t get laughs.
In real life that same kind of fear can lead us to exaggerate our experience, lie about our age, or hold back even though we think we might have a great idea.
The secret is, I think, to be comfortable with, and confident in yourself and the people you surround yourself with.
If you do the work to get those right, then staying true to your point of view (or your characters) with real integrity, openness and honesty become the default.
And improv training is a great way to peel back the onion layers and find your inner truth. Most people stay on the surface, but improvisers? They go deep because they quickly learn, that’s where the good stuff is – the stuff that people connect with instinctively because it’s genuine.
That’s why so many people who meet in an improv class end up being friends for life!
Being smart is great. Being funny is great. But at the end of the day, we all just want to be around people who are authentic, people who actually want to hear what we have to say, and people who are more concerned with making a genuine connection than they are with showing off.
So to me, honesty is more than just not being a liar, it’s about operating with integrity and being truthful to yourself, to your peers, and to the world.
So that’s Honesty. Thanks for the great suggestion Amy.
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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20 September · Season 1 : One Word Suggestion · Episode 2
One Word Suggestion: Honesty
By Eran Thomson
Honesty is more than just not being a liar, it’s about operating with integrity and being truthful to yourself, to your peers, and to the world.