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Showing posts from June, 2014

Increasing Emotional Intelligence and Managing Stress Through Applied Improvisation - games, exercises and research

This is a hand-out created for a workshop at Lifestage, Inc in Sept. 2013 that is part of a monthly series on applied improvisation for the development of emotional intelligence.

"We can train ourselves to avoid amygdala hijacks.  Improv does this by putting us into  situations that could cause an amygdala hijack-and we train our brain to stay functioning at a higher level." Viv McWaters, "What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do" Emotional Intelligence is associated with the ability to regulate and control the expression of emotions and validate one’s own thoughts and feelings.Self-regulation increases resilience to the stress response that could otherwise be triggered by the onset of a serious problem.Emotional Intelligence is the use of brain and mind to engage with the tensions of a complex situation rather than react to them."Emotions serve to draw attention resources to issues that in some way threaten the individual’s integrity; whether that be physical,…

Applied Improvisation For Developing The Competencies of Emotional Intelligence - games, exercises and resources

This is the hand-out to a workshop offered at Lifestage, Inc, part of a monthly series on Applied Improvisation for developing Emotional Intelligence  
“Emotional competence requires being able to pilot through the emotional undercurrents always at play rather than being pulled under by them.” Daniel Goleman, Working With Emotional Intelligence, Bantam Books, 1998
FOUR  BRANCHES  OF  EMOTIONAL  INTELLIGENCE The four branch model of emotional intelligence describes four areas of capacities or skills that collectively describe many of areas of emotional intelligence, involving the abilities to: ·  Accurately perceive emotions in oneself and others; ·  Use emotions to facilitate thinking; ·  Understand emotional meanings and         manage emotions;

Perceiving Emotionsdeals with the nonverbal reception and expression of emotion. Evolutionary biologists and psychologists have pointed out that emotional expression evolved in animal species as a form of crucial social communication. The capacity to …


“Self-knowledge is no guarantee of happiness but it is on the side of happiness and can supply the courage to fight for it.”   Simone deBeauvoir
An individual’s mind set has been found to be a powerful driver of perceptions about self and others as well as one’s capabilities and place in the world.  The perspective of a “fixed” mindset is that innate intelligence and talent are more central to successful learning and change than effort and commitment.  Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success argues that we can develop what she calls a “growth” mindset – which is founded on the belief that our most basic abilities can be enhanced through hard work and dedication, “that brains and talent are just the starting point.”  Research shows that even seemingly small social-psychological interventions that target limiting, self-negating thoughts, feelings can lead to deep, sustainable change.
Applied Improvisation and mindset: Shifts in mindset can occur rapidly through a co…

Pixar's Andrew Stanton thinks we should "fail fast and often," and that might be very good advice

Ed Catmull's book Creativity: Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In  The Way of True Inspiration chronicles the creative process at Pixar Animation, and has wisdom for innovators - and improvisers - in every field of endeavor. Pixar brought us the Toy Story trilogy, Up and Finding Nemo, to name a few ofthe most pioneering, artistic films ever made, animated or otherwise. As described by Catmull the Pixar culture achieves its high level of creativity because of a perspective on failure that is unusual in corporate life. Here is an example of this, from a page on the books website, titled Build A SuccessfulCreative Culture With 7 Core Principles From Pixar:

"During the making of Toy Story 2, an employee used a computer command that accidentally wiped out the drives where the entire movie was stored. First, Woody’s hat disappeared. Then his boots. Then he was gone entirely. Ultimately, 90% of the film was erased in a matter of seconds. Pixar didn’t try to find and punish…