By Michael Holland –

“Yes, and. . . .”

Our youngest son took to stage performance like a fish to water. His journey into theatre brought us to new realms of learning in many ways.

Interestingly when he was chatting me up regarding an improv class he was taking at college, I learned so much about the art, the cadence and the flow between the actors performing improv.

In the heat of a performance, you want to provide your partners with openings to continue the story/performance. And most importantly, you don’t want to create blocks to the flow and rhythm.

A key go to phrase is “Yes, and. . .” which purposefully makes a bridge to allow the story/performance to continue.

Leading others is a lot like improv.  We’re trying hard to help our employees to continue their individual performance in support of our team’s performance.

But are we helping to keep the performance moving forward or are we blocking their performance?  I think many times were blocking performance unintentionally.

So the questions to ask ourselves as leaders – who want to lead well – is this:

  • What am I doing to actively grow my employees’ performance and that of the team?
  • What are my “Yes, and. . . ” comments, mantras that encourage the growth?
  • What phrases or mantras do I say, that may be blocking their best performance or closing them down?

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • Think about the best leader you’ve ever worked for – or been coached or taught by. How did they help you to deliver your best performances?
  • Grab a peer leader and together answer the three questions and discuss.
    • What am I doing to actively grow my employees’ performance and that of the team?
    • What are my “Yes, and” comments, mantras that encourage the growth?
    • What phrases or mantras do I say, that may be blocking their best performance or closing them down?
  • With one or several peer leaders, register and attend a local improv event or take an improv class.

Learn to Lead Well

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