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: Integrity
This week’s word, “integrity” was suggested by Michael.
The other night I was walking home and saw an empty pizza box lying open on the footpath. It was two feet from a recycling bin so I picked it up and put it in its place.
Right after I did I looked around hoping someone saw my good deed, but alas, my planet-saving actions went unobserved.
So what’s this got to do with integrity? Well, one definition of the word is “Doing the right thing even when nobody’s watching.”
And even though I do remember being just a little bit disappointed, it probably shouldn’t have mattered, because in the end, it was a simple effort that was more about me living my code and honouring my values than what anyone else thinks.
Having integrity means you are true to yourself and won’t do anything that demeans or dishonours your beliefs – or anyone else’s, on stage or in real life.
In many ways, it’s about respect. Of yourself and the people around you.
On stage, this could mean letting go of your idea and serving the scene. In a business setting, it could be more about creating an environment where everyone feels welcome, wanted, and supported, and as if they can share any idea without judgment.
It can also mean never giving anyone the impression that you don’t care when improper actions are taking place. Operating with integrity means speaking up whenever you see unethical behaviour slipping in.
If you see a scene or a situation going rogue, call it out, edit, do something… Just remember that not everyone’s ethics may match your own. So be tactful.
Living with integrity isn’t always easy. Sometimes we’re just tired or in a hurry or distracted and we don’t do things the way we should. Someone else can pick up the pizza box!
But if your heart is in the right place and you’re at least aware of your actions and choices, then you’re probably on the right track.
And in the meantime be patient with others, and be patient with yourself, because sometimes the right thing to do isn’t always the thing you want to do – and that’s ok.
As long as you do it. Even when nobody’s watching.
So that’s my take on integrity. Thanks for the great suggestion, Michael.
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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6 September · Season 1 : One Word Suggestion · Episode 6
One Word Suggestion: Integrity
By Eran Thomson
Having integrity means you are true to yourself and won't do anything that demeans or dishonours your beliefs - or anyone else's, on stage or in real life.