Improv + Leadership: A Powerful Pairing


Note: It’s the Harnisch Foundation, but the Harnisches are outnumbered by the professionals who lead the daily operations and who take the mic today to tell you more about Funny Girls.

Why is improv an ingenious way to hone leadership skills? Let us give you a little flava of this powerful pairing.  

Many situations would be #EpicFails without collaboration, including an improv scene. Improv’s  “team sport” mentality translates into supporting all participants. This encourages bold choices and risk-taking, as there are no wrong answers. An approach that centers on collaboration (instead of command and control) unlocks something pretty darn special both in an improv scene as well as spaces where you are in a leadership position. It’s not just approach — it’s language, too. The phrase “Yes and…” is a cornerstone of improv. By using this lingo you affirm others’ contributions and then add information, opening up a conversation. Give it a try. You might be surprised by the magic that unfolds.

Want to be better at thinking on your feet? Try improv. It works. Really and truly. How? Well, all clues about characters, locations and relationships are made up on the spot in improv, leveraging imaginative (and FUN) ideas and scenarios that aren’t pre-determined. To progress the scene forward, it’s mission critical for improvisers to think and respond quickly. It’s the perfect playground to hone one’s ability to be agile (aka thinking on your feet).

As an improviser you may need to try something new or adapt in order to progress the scene. You can’t give up — and definitely not on the first try. The “try again” mindset is a practice of resiliency, rewarding the action of doing, trying, and experimenting (instead of immediate perfection). Yaassss. Maybe something more leaders should try? We think so. STAT.

Keeping collaboration at the center, responding to the unknown and thinking on your feet, embodying the “try, try, try again” motto… YES, these are all things that happen in improv AND boost your leadership chops.