One Word Suggestion: TeamworkOn December 3, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
Hey, welcome to One Word Suggestion. I am your host, Eran Thomson, and this week’s word is teamwork. For inspiration, can I please get a one word suggestion? One word suggestion? One word suggestion. One word suggestion. Welcome to the podcast. Most people think improv is just for comedy, but really it’s a tool for life, and at each 3-minute episode of 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 “teamwork” was suggested by William. There’s an exercise we run in some of our workshops called “One Word Story”. The object of the exercise, as you can probably guess, is for people to stand in line and tell a story together one word at a time. It doesn’t have to be a good or funny story, but it does have to make sense. It sounds deceptively easy, and it can be if everyone is listening actively, speaking clearly, and working together. Part of the trick is for people to understand that sometimes they may need to say a boring word like “the” or “and.” These connecting words may not influence the plot of the story being told, but they are crucial to the story being told well. In one group, we had a CEO who really wanted to win the adulation and respect of his staff, and be seen as a funny and cool guy. So every time it was his turn to say a word, he would say “bananas” and ruin the story. He thought he was being hilarious, but his team were getting more and more frustrated, especially since the facilitator kept asking them to start over, and Mr. CEO kept on saying “bananas.” Finally after several false starts, the CEO said the word that was most needed to make the most sense and make the story work. And everyone cheered and high-fived in celebration. He got what he was looking for. Not buy trying to be funny, but by doing what was necessary to tell a great story and make the whole group look good instead of just worrying about himself. In every situation, whether it’s getting a product to market on time, delivering a campaign, meeting a client deadline, or telling a story of Sammy the shark, it takes teamwork. And teamwork gets easier when everyone is operating with an ensemble mindset. And if you want to know more about the ensemble philosophy, check out episode seven. Improved collaboration and communication start when everyone understands that the shared wins are more important and usually more fun. And that by making the people around you look good, you look good. This unique approach to teamwork is a huge part of what we teach at LMA, and it’s powerful with huge potential for positive change inside an organization. And if you’re thinking, “yeah, yeah, but I’ve got some real challenging characters at my work” then I encourage you to drag them to an improv class, or book a corporate workshop for your team, then wait and see how things improve. I promise you, the results will be bananas. But in a good way. So that’s my take on teamwork. Thanks for the great suggestion, William. If you want to suggest a word for next week, or add your perspective, drop me a note in the comments, or in your review. I’m making one of these every week for a year, so definitely subscribe, like, share, and all that jazz. And in the meantime, if you’re interested in an 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 cam learn all about LMA’s programs at www.LMA.training. Thanks for listening. One Word Suggestion is brought to you by LMA professional development. Please visit us at www.LMA.training for more info.