Improv & Role Play for Communication = Emotions + Active Listening + Perceptions + Follow Up / Clarification + Reflection = SUCCESS!Charles Daniels
Being able to “relate” in our relationships becomes the architecture of our personal and professional lives.
Over the past few years, I have asked thousands of children and teens to show me a job that does not require building a relationship to have success. While extreme efforts were put into place to prove the idea wrong, at the end of each discussion the truth remained that communication between people is necessary for success and survival.
Successful communication is about give and take. Receiving information without judgement (active listening) and replying with feedback. Throughout this process, success happens when both parties are able to identify perceptions and emotions before organizing a constructive response.
So how do we learn this? Trial and error sprinkled with solid repetition (practice) and follow up!
Improvisation and role play allows participants to grow their emotional intelligence and higher cognitive functions in a safe environment through repetition of learned skills. “It is the use of brain and mind to engage with the tensions of a complex situation rather than react to them.” Says Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, CGP, MT in “Developing Emotional Intelligence through Improvisation”
Improvisational acting and role play has been proven to be one of the most immediate pathways to becoming aware of, and gaining mastery over this necessary identification of our feelings.
Patrick Graney in his article “Improv for Life” says “Improv is about letting that go. Improv is turning your brain off, being in the moment, then using whatever pops into your head to support the people around you. This, it turns out, is good for performing on any level, be it giving a speech, trying to land a new client, or even casual conversation. It’s about letting go and simply being in the moment.”
“Improvisation trains the brain and mind to engage with the tensions of a complex situation as a way of navigating through it moment to moment. The use of games and exercises produces a temporary and low-stakes sense of uncertainty and disruption and at the same time a sense of fun and aliveness. Learning to manage emotions that emerge during the controlled sense of crisis that occurs when playing a game with others in a safe space is an ideal method for training ourselves to manage real-life situations of intensity and uncertainty without being derailed by the stress response.”- Treder-Wolf 2016
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