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From Gary Schwartz at Improv Odyssey: We all approach new things with some trepidation. I’ve been told by new students that they are there in the workshop because Improv terrifies them and they want to face that fear. Bravo to them for their courage, but ‘sheesh!” I tell them that they need not worry. My workshop is not terrifying. In fact it is the opposite. It’s fun.
Fun is the antidote to fear. My goal is to get their mind completely off their fear by making the workshop more fun than fearful. Rather than talking about the value of the work or reassuring them that it’s not all that scary, I start by playing a game right away. Playing reveals that better than any lecture.
From TED words: The Failure Bow (also known as the Circus Bow, Availability Bow, or Transparency Bow) represents one of the greatest resources in an improvisor’s toolkit. Putting it to use transforms the potential downer of a seeming mistake into a celebration of boldness.
The Bow first showed up in the work of Seattle improv pioneers Edward Sampson and Matt Smith in the mid-1980’s. They noticed that beginning improvisors in particular needed some way to interrupt the natural demons of self-doubt and self-judgment. Usually, we cringe when we hesitate or make mistakes, expecting punishment or pain from the outside. Or, maybe we flinch or roll our eyes hoping that if we proactively apologize for our ineptitude we can deflect critique from others. Of course, that apology only solidifies and calcifies the error, telling those around us that we’re worthy of their judgment. Sampson and Smith suggested that we instead embrace the moment by stepping proudly forward, flinging our arms in the air, and pronouncing a full-throated, goofy-smiled “I failed! Woo hoo!” The move simultaneously takes responsibility—I’m recognizing that I did, in fact, ‘mess up’—and lightens the mood, making more space for creativity. Rather than spiraling downward or inward, I choose to respond with good cheer, celebrating the boldness that led to the failure. I’m learning! I’m growing! Over time, the spirit of the gesture becomes so ingrained that the impulse to cringe almost fades away completely.
From Beth Kanter at Harvard Business Review: Developed by Seattle-based improvisation teacher, Matt Smith, it works like this: Instead of cringing when you make a mistake, you raise your hands in the air, announce, “I failed”, grin like a submissive dog, and then move on. The failure bow can be transformative because it alters our physiological response to failure by removing the demons of self-doubt and self-judgment. Without those holding us back, we can be more flexible and improve results and learning.
In a TEDGlobal 2012 talk given in Edinburgh, Scotland, Cuddy outlined her research, offering a “free, low-tech life hack that takes two minutes” as part of “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.” Almost everyone will acknowledge the importance of non-verbal, interactive communication. We make big decisions based on such information, and often do so · Watch video →
From Knowledge@Wharton: A colleague asks you for feedback on a report. A LinkedIn connection requests an introduction to one of your key contacts. A recent graduate would like an informational interview. New research from Wharton management professor Adam Grant reveals that how you respond to these requests may be a decisive indicator of where you’ll end up on the ladder of professional success. Grant recently spoke with Knowledge@Wharton about his findings, which are explored in his new book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.
From The Energy Project: Energy Rituals are highly specific behaviors or regimes that you do at the same time every day (or on the specific days you select). By setting a sacrosanct time for your routine, you don’t have to spend energy thinking about when to get it done. Willpower is a highly finite and limited resource in each of us, so the goal is to use less of it wherever possible, by making more behaviors in our lives automatic.
From Unclutterer: How do you keep focused on an important relationship when “things go back to normal?” A recent article in The Wall Street Journal suggests that finding the right (dare I say) balance between your work and personal lives can be difficult, particularly for entrepreneurs.