Listening

Improv for Interviewers - A FastCompany Interview

Dave Collins, Founder and CEO of Oak and Reeds, was interviewed in Fast Company on ways to integrate improv into a company's interview process. Below is an excerpt of his thoughts (you can read the full interview here):

Brainstorm the questions you need to ask to get the information you need about the candidate beforehand. Have those ready, but also be prepared to go off-script if the opportunity arises. Collins uses a "question-asking funnel," where the interview starts with very broad questions, then more specific, probing questions are used as various lines of discussion develop. The key is to keep the conversation fluid, listen intently, and to be ready to follow an interesting thread when it emerges, he says.
"What I like to teach in improv is called ‘color and advance,’" he says. Use an open-ended question to get the color that the person will share in the story, then use an "advance" question to drill down into the specific skills about which you need to know.

Medical Improv

The Cleveland Clinic is incorporating improv training into doctor/patient communication training workshops. Their aim is to help doctors develop skills to make interactions with patients more collaborative, empathetic and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

The class paired up for one exercise, in which one person was of present times and the other played the role of a Rip Van Winkle character who was waking up after being asleep for 200 years. 

“So we had to put ourselves in that position of someone who had no comprehension of cell phones, for example, or televisions...The analogy then would be trying to put yourself in the position of a person with no medical experience and trying to explain a complex procedure or a complex diagnosis.” 

Read the full article from Crain's business here.

Improv Goes Mainstream

In the last five years, Improv training has expanded into the mainstream. More  people, both performers and non-performers alike, are reaping the benefits of regular improv training in their daily lives: 

"I think improv helps people become better humans. It makes people listen better. Improv rules are life rules. And so, if a lot more people are taking improv, a lot more people are being thoughtful in their daily life about how they interact with each other."
- Julie Brister, Upright Citizens Brigade

Read the full article from the Atlantic