3 improv exercises to improve communications

Flex your listening and relationship-building muscles with these techniques.

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My most recent “ah-ha” moment came during an educational seminar my organization hosted for our physician clients.

The topic was how to use improvisation techniques—spontaneity, collaboration and flexibility—to improve communication with patients and staff members (in my case, with co-workers and loved ones).

In the same way that word games can improve your writing, improvisation techniques can improve your conversational and listening skills. Practice the techniques below with a partner and then try them at home or work:

1. Two things in common

For this exercise, ask your partner questions to find out two things that you have in common.

Ask things such as, “How long have you lived in Austin?” “What kind of writing do you produce?” If you already know the person, dig deeper to learn new things that you have in common, such as: “How do you feel about the singular ‘they?'”

This is a great networking game. Next time you’re at an event, talk to people with the intent of finding two things you have in common.

2. Last letter, first letter

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