Updated: Dec 14, 2019
There are plenty of tools out there that profess how to add that missing 'spunk' and 'spark' in our everyday conversations. They are likely to be worthwhile and in one way or the other also work well for some. But this blogpost is to highlight how Improv is one way and that it is a really powerful medium for quality conversations in its own right.
To start things off, Improv helps develop a keen sense of listening. This 'listening' here refers to being present and aware. It means to be able to absorb the other person's feeling or intent behind the words they say. That requires practice. A lot of practice. It is when we go down to the micro-est part of the conversation and identify what the other person is really meaning to say through their choice of words is when we can respond better.
Often enough, there are people who are not able to communicate what they feel through words or rather try to cover the feelings up with words that mean otherwise. That is when it becomes significant to recognize the language of the body. To see what the body says and how it embodies one's feelings is when we can be in a better position to respond to the other person's truest emotion over and beyond the words.
Improv also invariably teaches us to look out for one another. In Improv, no performer cancels another person's genuine feeling that they express in a given moment. To ignore or cancel it is testament to not listening, a kind of devaluation of the partner
and failing to be there for them. The practice of listening through Improv also helps one to become more comforting. We need that in this day and age. People rarely seem to offer even as little as a comforting hug or any gesture or even words that make another feel that they are looked after. Through Improv we can learn how to do that. We can actually overcome inhibitions of putting our self out there and caring for one another by practicing this with our team.