|Image by Rob Poynton from www.treehuggers.com|
What makes improvisation unique as an art form and a method of self-development is its emphasis on heightened awareness of, and response to, what is presented in the moment. To do that we have to be willing and able to notice and accept what is offered. To notice and to listen to others are high-level interpersonal skills cultivated through the fun, engaging process of improvisation that have rich, real-life pay-offs. Because regardless of how well we think we listen and are aware of what others do and say, we can always improv. Sorry, I meant improve.
|Blog post by Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, CGP, MT|
An application of this method in organizations that do high-level science and engineering is described in a journal article published by the Institute For Energy Technology. It focuses on the value of improvisation training in organizations as a whole so they can support individuals within organizations as they adapt to shifting circumstances and new information.
"People should be socialized to make fewer assumptions, notice more, and ignore less," according to business researchers and writers Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe. Improvisation training aids in the abilty to "interpret signals in many ways and be sensitive to a greater variety of inputs," according to the study. Improvisation in Response implies the ability to create new patterns of anticipation and attention within a short time frame, that is, “thinking in action."
Now more than ever, as the pace of change intensifies and the time between action and response grows ever shorter, the ability to deal effectively with the unexpected is of critical importance. Resilience is the "muscle" developed through improv training, a psychological, emotional and cognitive strength that results in greater adaptability and creativity in the face of stress.