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Showing posts from October, 2013

How Improvisation Promotes Emotional Competence

Every human interaction involves some degree of emotional risk. Buyer and seller, employee and employer, teacher and student, therapist and client and every other combination of roles are most likely to succeed when the risk- e.g., of rejection, being misunderstood, failing to communicate – is managed with a combination of competence and good will. Competence in relationships is a skill set we can spend our entire lives improving. Through practice we can unlearn some of the defensive patterning we developed out of hurt and fear or simply absorbed from the people who around us who had no better tools for navigating emotional uncertainty as well as discover what works better and moves us toward what we really want with other people.

     Improvisation master and Stanford University professor Patricia Ryan Madson describes improv as a training ground for acting with generosity, awareness of the needs of others, and willingness to jump in and share the struggle with others on the stage of…