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Tools for Transformation: Improving Team Performance Through Improvisation Theater Theory and Techniques

Summary: Improvisation (improv) theater games are useful resources to help team members understand group dynamics and how it affects their relationships. Improv skills such as listening, partnering, and trusting have direct relevance to the skills that make all teams successful. It works because it puts people in the right frame of mind to achieve breakthroughs in thought. With improv, the framework that defines the system expands possibilities by allowing participant to focus on the process, rather than the outcome. Full-body listening is another technique critical for effective teamwork and communication. When presence, silence, comfort, connection, and acknowledgement occur in a conversation, you will see full-body listening. A sidebar article explain the "Yes, and..." game adapted from Playing Along: 37 Group Learning Activities Borrowed from Improvisational Theater. Another sidebar challenges teachers to look upon teaching as a performing art.

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