Improv is a powerful tool and has benefits both professionally and personally.
Ralph Andracchio is a professional coach who uses applied improv techniques in concert with his coach training to give his clients tools that empower them to live more focused, mindful, confident lives. Too many of us live dual lives of professional success and personal fulfillment. Ralph wants us to live one authentic life filled with strength, confidence, happiness, and success.
The Power of Improv
Improv gave Ralph the strength to overcome self-doubt and, imposter syndrome and it gave him the strength to step into his power and his voice and say to himself that his point of view was valuable. Similarly, improv gave him permission to open up to other people.
The Thread of Improv
The true thread through improv is helping other people realize what he realized, that you matter. You have a power inside of you that if you stop and take a breath and embrace and slow down and open yourself up there is a whole world of excitement out there. The key is to listen to it and be accepting of it.
Through his research of what he could do with his background of improv, he found coaching, which is what lead him to his business.
Improv and the Power of Listening
Listening is about listening to others and ourselves. Likewise, it’s about holding the space to really truly deeply listen to what is going on around you and what the other person is saying and feeling. Listening isn’t just waiting for your turn to speak. It’s listening to everything the person is saying, what they aren’t saying, the words they are using, and the silence that happens and embracing the silence to settle into the moment.
Listening opens up connections that we don’t realize are possible. It’s about trusting others and ourselves.
True conversation and connection are having a reaction and opinion and wanting to connect on that, and have a conversation about it. Likewise, it’s important to be able to practice deep listening, being present and holding space, and not getting so caught up in the opinion.
Being intentional with our listening helps build emotional connections that lead to genuine relationships.
We are all leaders in our own right. The best leaders are those who listen. True leaders will ask what is needed and how they can support you. They listen to the responses and let go of their ego thinking they have to be the most important person in the room.
There are so many opportunities to learn and leaders are eager to learn.
Life is about being open to letting others teach you something. We aren’t meant to know everything. Imposter syndrome makes us think we have to be an expert at everything, but we aren’t meant for that, we are meant to learn as we go along.
The Foundation of Improv
Improv is when two or more people get on a stage without a script and get some form of input from the audience. It is whatever happens, happens and you become hyper-aware at the moment. Your senses are very aware. Paying attention to body language, what they say, and what they don’t say.
Improv teaches you to live wholly and completely in the moment. To take in all of the information you can because everything means everything, and you take in all of the information to formulate a response.
Similarly, improv teaches us to trust ourselves and support each other and the team. The only way you can fail at improv if you negate what is happening and say no to the experience. You really can’t fail at improv.
People use improv to learn to roll with the punches and go with the flow. Life is improv. We don’t have any idea what’s going to happen when we get up in the morning.
Can an Anxious and Fearful Person Do Improv and How?
Yes and is the main thing taught in improv. It is a philosophy of being open to everything that is happening. Accept the situation and reality and add your two cents. It’s about trusting yourself to say things. Turning down the volume on the fear of judgment is the key.
In other words, improv teaches us to let go of fear and say what we believe is the right thing to say and believe in our partner to respond. Getting lost in the moment with your on-stage partner. It is like floating in a warm space and all of the negative thoughts float away.
Improv is also about storytelling. Public speakers are great storytellers. Improv helps us tap into the storyteller in us.
Storytelling helps us engage and build relationships. It’s how we connect with each other.
Storytelling is also a great way to network. Ask others to tell their story. We aren’t defined by the work we do, so change the dialogue to asking others to share their story instead of asking what they do. This helps build relationships and trust.
Learn more and connect with Ralph
To learn more about your host, Robyn Graham, click HERE.