October 10th, 2014
Episode 247 of 715 episodes
Your brain is an improvising machine. "Improvisation is being right here, right now in this moment."-Patricia Madson The Cheat Sheet: How to "yes, and" your way to better conversations.(9:40) The general rule to being a good conversationalist. (17:40) What's the distinction between impulsive and improv? (22:05) Why not talking isn't the same as listening. (24:30) The most sincere form of love is ____. Patricia fills in the blank. (30:20) The importance of being grateful every day. (38:00) And so much more... When I say improv is your first thought comedic entertainment? For most of us it is. But improv is a part of our daily lives whether we recognize it or not. And according to our guest for episode 325, improv is something we can enhance to improve every aspect of our lives, not just a way to make people laugh. Today Patricia Madson, author ofImprov Wisdom, joins me to talk about the art of improv for better conversations, and why cultivating gratitude every day is so powerful as well as a few exercises we can do to immediately become better connectors...and so much more on this edition of The Art of Charm. More About This Show: Although we think of improv as being relevant to stand up comedians and TV shows like What's My Line, it actually is a terrific asset to help us become better conversationalists, better partners and better employees/co-workers/bosses. There is a lot to learn and apply from the world of improv, and here to give us the low-down is Patricia Madson. One of the greatest skills improv can give us is being great conversationalists. There are a few keys to this: one is learning to listen and actually accept what the other person offers us before responding. This is one of the key pillars of improv and it's called the "yes and". It simply means we hear what the speaker is saying, welcome their words, accept them and build on what they've given us. But what if the conversation falters? What do we do if the other person isn't giving us much of anything, if we can't "yes and" because they've gone silent or monosyllabic. Improv is also a help here, Patricia says we can do something called "make an offer". Making an offer is when we offer our thoughts on something specific as a way to grow and enliven the conversation. So we can make an offer about a movie we just saw and why it was great/awful, we can make an offer about something we want to see on TV, a new art exhibit coming to town, etc. At the core of both of these tenants of improv is the aspect of listening and being focused on the other person. Listening issomething we talk about on many of our shows and today's is no exception. Patricia offers a few useful techniques we can do to improve our listening skills. As she explainslistening isn't just about not talking, it's about being present with what the other person has to say without any of our own internal dialogue about what they said. As far focusing on the other person, this is where Patricia gives us exercises to do. One of theexercises is to choose that every day you will spend 1-2 minutes a day just focusing on what one person is saying to you. You might choose to do this with a significant other, or a best friend or a co-worker you feel comfortable with. But whomever you choose to do this with, you tell yourself before the conversation that you are only going to listen while they speak for the next 1-2 minutes. And then you turn off your inner monologue and just listen.This is one of the most sincere ways of showing love to another person, by just hearing and listening to everything they say without even thinking about your response (let alone having a response). Another tip she suggests is to see how many times a day you can say thank you. Gratitude is truth, according to her. The truth is we should thank each other because without one another we wouldn't be able to function. By giving thanks to others we are acknowledging their help in the overall function of our day to day lives. This is true at home and at work. Think of the last time someone thanked you for doing your job - didn't that feel good? Even if it's our job to do something, we all like to be thanked for it. Patricia was a fun, off-the-cuff guest and I enjoyed having her here with us.She gave us real-life examples of using improv and daily tools we can start using immediately. I want to thank Patriciafor joining us and to thank you for being here too. Enjoy the episode and we'll see you next time. THANKS PATRICIA! If you enjoyed this session of the Art of Charm Podcast, let Patricia know by clicking on the link below and sending her a quick shout out on Twitter: Click here to thank Patriciaon Twitter! Resources from this episode: Patricia's web siteImprov Wisdom, byPatricia MadsonImprov Wisdom, the audio versionImprov Wisdom, on AmazonPatriciaon Twitter Try Squarespace (free) and support our supporters! You'll also like:-The Art of Charm Toolbox-Best of The Art of Charm Podcast HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! If you dug this episode, please subscribe in iTunes and write us a review! This is what helps us stand out from all the fluff out there. Ways to subscribe to The Art of Charm Click here to subscribe via iTunes Click here to subscribe via RSS You can also subscribe via Stitcher FEEDBACK + PROMOTION Hit us up with your comments and guest suggestions. We read EVERYTHING. Download the FREE AoC app for iPhone Email [email protected] Give us a call at 888.413.7177 Stay Charming!