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Episode 140

November 24th, 2021

140: How to use Applied Improv to Enliven your Workshops with Shannon Hughes

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    Using “yes-and”, following the flow, and focusing on the process as much as the outcomes… Is this improv or facilitation?

    The two share a lot in common! When we combine them, we can create amazing, immersive workshops.

    And that’s exactly what I discuss with Shannon Hughes in this week’s episode. Shannon dedicates her work to generating ‘aliveness’ – helping leaders come alive and bringing confidence, connection, and creativity to teams.

    Now, she’s sharing the lessons she’s learned from bringing applied improv into corporate spaces – and how facilitators can bring a little more improv and play into workshops to amazing effect.

    Find out about

    • How beneficial it can be to remember that facilitators are guides, not teachers
    • The multiple skills we – as communicators, colleagues, and people – learn from improvisation
    • How to apply improvisation for conscious leadership (with a helpful acronym)
    • Why absence has a bigger impact than presence – especially when it comes to leaders
    • How we can become better listeners and help others to do the same
    • The tools you might already be using in your workshops that you can apply to improv

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    Questions and Answers

    01:15When did you start calling yourself a facilitator – if you do? 04:34If you call yourself an experiential facilitator, what is the opposite? 07:34What brought you to imrpov and facilitation? And which came first? 08:29How do you distinguish “energy” and “flow”? 14:20What is the mindset of improv that we see in facilitation, and how do you apply improv in facilitation? 15:48How do you bring this mindset into the room – do people pick it up or do you have to explicitly explain it? 21:02Are there building blocks for psychological safety in improv? And what does the concept really mean in improv? 27:18Where do you see the risk of applying improv – and especially the “yes and” principle? 31:43Exploring – and practicing – Shannon’s favourite exercise: The Pride Rant. 01:17What can you do when a playful exercise unexpectedly triggers something uncomfortable in a participant? 03:13How did you react when this situation happened? 08:00What is the meaning behind ‘enlivened’? 12:25How can we create an environment for participants to realise what they need, rather than telling them what they need? 16:41 What experience would you create to make someone a better listener? 21:26 Discussing Michael Bungay Stanier’s writing and how it applies to listening and facilitation 25:47 What’s happening for you at the moment in your life? 31:52What is the one thing you’d like listeners to take away from this episode?

    Connect to Shannon