Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just say 'Yes'!

After a long absence I finally started my Improv classes at CERN again, I had mentioned starting them last year, but have not been attending them for the last couple of months, cos first my parents were here, and then I had to move to a new flat and was extremely busy.

But yesterday I decided that I should go even though I was a bit stressed at work…or maybe because of it, cos improv gives me the chance to behave like a kid again! J

For those not familiar with improv, this link shows the kind of crazy things we do! Freeze is one of our favorite games that we play and it’s a load of fun!

The main concept of making improv work is ‘Just say yes!’ so no matter what your partner says, you should say yes and play along with the idea, and build it rather than arguing cos it’s funniest when you build the scene together rather than trying to break down the other person’s ideas, or bring other ideas cos then it doesn’t make a coherent story. This can be more difficult than it appears, simply cos usually as we start the scene we have already made this 3 act opera (as our instructor put it) in our head, and then if the other person does not do what we expect them to, we have the bad tendency of wanting to stick to our own initial idea, rather than validating the new one. Cos if one person says no and brings a new idea, then the second person would not want to agree with it and will continue with the initial idea, and in the end there is no story, so the improv does not work. I guess you could call it a team sport (the only one that I can play J) If you watch the video closely you can see how each person keeps saying yes even to the most ridiculous ideas, and it just makes it really funny.

I was just thinking that this is also very relevant to everyday life. Even in conversations, sometimes we have the bad habit of wanting to get our own thoughts and ideas, rather than listening to the other person. Saying ‘Yes’ to another persons ideas and listening can really show that we are interested in the other person and is a great way of building relationships! The other thing you can learn from improv is to listen without judging, cos everyone’s ideas are important, and that;s something that is very important in life cos when we listen without judging it helps the other person to be creative and expore an idea without being fearful of being ridiculed.

So as Kevin Hogan put it in his book 8 barriers to communication “People that don’t give us a chance, an opportunity to share and express ourselves, to be US, put out our spark, our flame. It is this spark, our spirit, this fire, this waterfall within us all that drives us, which makes us whole. This constant, ever changing flow of energy is what makes us, US. why not allow yourself to truly listen. Not just hear someone speak, but focus on listening to them, be in their shoes when they talk, see the world through their eyes, experience life from someone else’s point of view instead of being compelled to express your own.”

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Blogger Anna said...

this post and the previous gave ME food for thought; life sometimes feels like the big events, then the lulls between them. but what if we say YES more often?

thanks for a lovely, thought-provoking way to start my day!! :)))

3:23 pm, July 25, 2009  

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