One Word Suggestion Podcast: Connections

Welcome to One Word Suggestion.

Most people think improv is just for comedy or jazz music. But, really, it’s a tool for life. For each article in this series I use a single word, suggested by you, as a leaping off point to explore how having an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level, both personally and professionally, whether you have a career on or off the stage.

This week’s word, “connections” was suggested by Rosie.

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According to the world-renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow, all humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among social groups.

In fact, he thought it was so important he put Social Belonging right in the middle of his famous hierarchy of needs.

Maslow’s idea of social connections includes: Friendships, Intimacy, and Family. And if you’ve ever been part of an improv class, then you already know, the connections you make there can lead to all sorts of new friendships, a community that feels like, or in some cases feels even better than, family, and every once in a while people even find a bit of intimacy.

In fact, one of our teachers recently got engaged in an LMA improv show. So you never know what kind of connections you’ll make.

And while not everyone who takes a class at LMA is likely to find their perfect partner, it’s my intention that they do find themselves in a safe, welcoming, community where they can fail gloriously and succeed hilariously.

And if you ask any student who has taken a class at LMA, or teacher who works here, they’ll tell you I’m always going around saying that even though we’re the fastest growing comedy school in Australia, at our core, we’re about community first, and comedy second.

The great thing is, if we do our jobs right, the connections and community take care of themselves. I see proof of this in every level one class we run — where a room full of complete strangers transforms into a group of great mates over eight weeks, which I think just proves Maslow was right.

All of us want to connect with others and find the easily found common ground. And when we realise we’re all more alike than we are different, man that feels good.

Creating this culture of community and connection is important for us as a school, but it’s also important for any business that wants to succeed. If your people aren’t able to communicate, collaborate and move towards a shared agenda without ego and trust issues, let alone embracing each other’s unique talents and abilities, you’re only going to go so far.

The improv for business workshops we run will help any company create a safe space where people feel wanted and respected — and adhere to an ensemble mindset where everyone has each other’s backs. And when your teams feel connected with each other, it’s more likely they’ll be able to make real-world connections with your customers.

And that’s why I think our improv based corporate training has been so successful. We deliver real ROI on any HR or L&D training budget, and we do it in a way that is fun — and without any powerpoint or trust falls.

So that’s my take on connections. Thanks for the great suggestion, Rosie.

If you want to suggest a word for next week, or add your perspective, drop me a note in the comments or in a review. I’m making one of these every week, for a year, so definitely subscribe, like, share, and all that jazz.

Or better yet, listen to the podcast.

And in the meantime, if you’re interested in improv for personal growth, professional achievement, or just for fun, my suggestion is to get yourself into an improv class or book a corporate training workshop for your team.

You can learn all about PowerProv’s programs at powerprov.com.au

Eran Thomson is the Founder of Zuper Superannuation, Laugh-Masters Academy, PowerProv, Comedy & Co, and the Australian Improv Festival.

About One Word Suggestion

The One Word Suggestion series is your personal toolbox full of ways to help you use the power of improvisation to craft a more mindful and meaningful existence. Available as articles, a podcast, and soon, a book filled with powerful exercises for teams.

The One Word Suggestion Podcast with Eran Thomson

In each 3-minute episode, Eran uses a single word, suggested by listeners, as a leaping off point to explore how developing an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level personally and professionally.

Whether you aspire to be better on stage or on the job, this quick hit of improv inspiration is sure to bring you some insights, perspective, and joy.

Like what you hear? Listen to Eran’s guest appearances on other people’s podcasts, or invite him to speak at your next event.

Learn about the best improv training for teams at PowerProv.

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