We’ve all been caught in those awkward situations and uncomfortable conversations that seem impossible to navigate. Many of us feel anxiety and panic set in during those moments, yet there is something that can help us make these instances a little bit easier…IMPROV!
On this week’s #MillennialTalk chat we invited entrepreneur and author, Jen Oleniczak Brown, to join us to discuss her new book Think on Your Feet: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Impromptu Communication Skills on the Job
During this chat we took a deep dive into how improv is beneficial in business, the different types of communication and social styles, improv for conflict management and much more. Say hello to quick responses and better communication and goodbye to awkward moments…bring on the improv!
Check out our #MillennialTalk highlights below!
Scroll down for a recap of our Q&A:
@ChelseaKrost: A few years back I took the stage for a speaking gig and just as I walked on stage I realized I was wearing 2 different boots! Instead of being embarrassed or trying to hide it, I pointed it out & totally made a joke of it. The audience got a kick out of it & it ended up working in my favor 😂
@JenOleniczak:A few weeks ago I was leading a session at the @RedHat Summit and someone said something so profound it stopped me in my tracks! I took a beat and a breath and responded to the statement-and acknowledged my shock! A lot of the time transparency is confidence.
@tiffanyiwaddell: Been in convo that seemed casual / upbeat, only for the person to start crying (abt something they were experiencing, not me). pivoted away from where I *thought* we were headed, handed tissue, invited to vent – or not. I would be there for them either way.
@ChelseaKrost: When you think of improv I’m sure the first thing that pops into your mind is a comedy/theatre show, but there is much more to it!
Improv can help us:
when we are stumped on an interview question
with awkward salary negotiations
when your presentation isn’t going as planned
when you are put on the spot at work
in a sales pitch
in a team meeting
@JenOleniczak: Improv is listening and responding. Full stop. No jokes, no gags, no wit. It’s just listening and responding. It’s what we do all day every day (or should do!) so practice is KEY to build that muscle.
@LizzVo: Improv is an unplanned and unscripted situation. At work and elsewhere, improv helps us develop our way of thinking and impacts how we communicate. It trains us to react to situations appropriately (or learn from past mistakes)
@ChelseaKrost: Out of these 4 communication styles I would say I am a blend of INFLUENCER & CONSCIENTIOUS…What about you?
@JenOleniczak: There are 4 communication styles: passive, aggressive, passive aggressive and the ‘best’ – assertive. I’m assertive! Ask someone who is not my biggest fan and they would say aggressive though! 🤣I think knowing how you BEST communicate is important. I think what matters more is how the OTHER person communicates, because then you can use that info in your response.
@jlthrift: I aim to be assertive without being too dominant or conscientious. I’m usually passive-aggressive while conscientious-social. I will work with you as long as things get done, but with that I can get impatient, but will allow you to have many arguments.
@ChelseaKrost: Before a meeting/presentation/conversation I always consider:
the overall goal
the audience demographic
the amount of time we have
@JenOleniczak: Before ANY situation you should think about who you are (+ your relationship to who you’re talking to), where you are, what you want (+ what they want!) + how you feel (+ how they might feel.) If a conversation feels unfulfilling, one might be undefined.
Know the goal,
@ChelseaKrost: My social style: ambivert
Ambiverts are right in between introverts and extroverts! Although I am social and enjoy spending time with others, I also value and cherish my alone time.
@JenOleniczak: I am a well performing introvert. I am exhausted in big groups! Much prefer one on one. It’s a little weird because I teach, but to me that’s totally different. Conversations are the best when they are smaller, but I wish I didn’t feel awkward in big groups!
@RachelYancius: Ambivert. I can be so outgoing and people friendly but then I absolutely need a recharge by myself. For example an entire day at an event or tradeshow will have me needing at least a couple of hours to myself at the end of the day in order to feel good.
@ChelseaKrost: More than just listening to client challenges and frustrations, I want to learn more about their background = success/challenges that led them to this point. This will help me identify exactly how I can help shift their mindset to improve productivity & results all around.
@JenOleniczak: I would LOVE to be better at telling stories! Like not just good, but amazingly GREAT. It’s something I’m focusing on for 2020. Lots of classes and reading, because I would like to use stories more in sales and client talk.
I love speaking to large crowds!
But, I struggle with small talk in real life.
(It drains my energy)
So, I would love to work on the latter.
I love small talk online, but there’s something
about pausing + silences in real life that makes it hard.
@JenOleniczak: Tap into YES AND when you hit conflict + avoid the word BUT. When you say YES, you’re not agreeing, you’re affirming what they just said. YES you are upset, YES I didn’t hit my goal. Then with AND you add a statement. AND I want to fix it, tell me how. The word BUT places one thing above another. BUT I didn’t mean it, BUT you weren’t clear-what’s more important, what you just said, or what comes after the BUT? Avoid it and see what happens! (Promise your life becomes easier and you’re less combative!)
@ebonyajohnson: Improv is great for conflict resolution. You can act out what you feel or how you feel. You can channel those negative emotions into positive energy. Role playing is a great exercise too for conflict resolution.
@JenOleniczak:Yes And is ALSO great for ideation and creation! Too often we tap into the ‘but we can’t’ – if we are open to possibilities, ALL OF THEM, we can see more! So next idea, try to AFFIRM IT and then ADD details!
@Neil_ODonnell: Improv can help us think more critically and learn to embrace and consider diverse opinions
@ChelseaKrost: I want to be more aware of the conversations I have with myself throughout the conversation I am having with another. Am I projecting, future forecasting, over analyzing, thinking about something not relevant? Impromptu communication = being present!
@EatBeMary: I am unsubscribing from email lists that don’t contribute to my life. This will help me stay organized in my inbox and in my brain, so I can focus on the communication that matters most !
Ready for more? Check out our #Millennialtalk RECAP