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Showing posts from March, 2016

Developing Emotional Intelligence Through Applied Improvisation: An Essential Mind and Skill Set for Social Workers workshop handout

Emotional intelligence grows through increasing the connections between emotions and higher cognitive functions - experiencing emotions consciously, labeling them cognitively and acting on them choicefully. It is the use of brain and mind to engage with the tensions of a complex situation rather than react to them, and this capacity is essential to the effective practice of social work in any professional setting. 
Applied Improvisation trains the brain and mind to engage with the tensions of a complex situation through the use of games and exercises that produce a temporary and low-stakes sense of uncertainty and disruption while at the same time producing a sense of fun and aliveness. Learning to manage emotions that emerge during the controlled sense of crisis that occurs when playing a game with others in a safe space is an ideal method for training ourselves to manage real-life situations of intensity and uncertainty without being derailed by the stress response.
The Four primary …

THE IMPROVISER'S MIND SET: Creative Thinking For Complex Problems workshop handout

In psychotherapy or learning environments, the improviser's mind set is a way of approaching the present moment with clients from an expanded openness to who and where they are, seeing the same things through fresh eyes. Practice of skills in improvisation is an engaging way to become more aware of the power of relationship in learning and growth, including the subtle, nonverbal ways we communicate emotion to others. When we engage in improvisation games and exercises we strengthen the psychological and emotional "muscles" that increase responsiveness to subtle emotional shifts and enhance our ability to shift gears when necessary. These skills make therapy and learning more dynamic and alive. 

Every human interaction involves some degree of risk. Some risks are more obvious than others, e.g. we can ask someone out to lunch and they reject us, we communicate something important to a colleague and find it is misinterpreted. Many more levels of risk are embedded in the comp…

The Improviser's Tool Kit: Skills For Thinking and Acting Under Pressure March 5 2016 workshop handout

"If the future is uncertain, best learn how to improvise. 
Find out how by looking at how actors and jazz musicians do it."
Mary Crossan, Organizational Dynamics


“Improvisation is teaching yourself new behavior, a new way to work, a new way to exist. As we ncorporate the new stimuli and information from the improv activity, the activity itself mutates and recomposes in unknown directions. We trust our intuitive instincts to take us somewhere useful, interesting and challenging. We walk the tightrope of our own minds and hearts.”  Joseph Keefe, Founder of Second City,  ImprovYourself: Business Spontaneity at the Speed of Thought, John Wiley & Sons 2003


The ability to think and act under pressure is known as emotional agility - defined by the Mind-Fitness Training Instituteas the "cognitive and psychological adaptability, or the ability to think rapidly and creatively under stress, anticipate or quickly adapt to uncertain or changing situations and improvise when faced with…