Last week I participated in an Improv Level 1 class, and aside from having a great time and earning a healthy respect for how difficult improv is, I came away with five key ideas to improve client relationships.
The concept of “Yes, and…” is rule number one in improv.
I have found that using this in conversations helps them run smoothly. The idea that you are not blocking what a person is saying, but rather building on it, makes a conversation feel more like collaboration.
Pick up the phone!
Understanding that subtlety is lost, not only on the stage, but also in phone calls, can ensure that miscommunications are avoided. If you don’t leave room for someone to misinterpret you, you can avoid frustration and probably some embarrassment. Identify if a communication has the potential to be misinterpreted; if so, pick up the phone. This allows you to be direct and clear as well as the freedom to react to the conversation, you know, like an improv performance.
Eye contact! Of course when face-to-face with someone this makes sense, but how does this translate to conference calls–the way most of us communicate with clients and remote teams?