Izzy Gesell

P.O. Box 962
Northampton, MA 01061

413.586.2634 [Voice]
413.585.0407 [Fax]


Instructional Moments
"Insights and Practical Applications
about Life and Learning
Distilled from Improv Theater Techniques"

Instructional Moment 1

This free e-zine highlights the ways that Improv Theater techniques have relevance to our daily professional and personal lives. Whether you are a teacher, coach, corporate executive, sales representative, stay-at-home mom, blue-collar worker or professional speaker, you will find these ideas to be intuitive, fascinating and immediately applicable to what you face on a day-to-day basis. Instructional Moments is directed toward individuals who desire to become more confident, playful, spontaneous, and effective.

The easiest and perhaps the most concrete way to incorporate Improv Theater techniques into daily living is by understanding and adopting the concept of YES…AND. For improvisers, YES…AND serves the same purpose as the North Star does for sailors: that of a guiding light and a way to keep moving forward, even though the outcome of the journey is uncertain.

The fundamental Improv principal is that there is a difference between ACCEPTANCE and AGREEMENT. It trains us to take what we are given and build on it. Brought into our everyday lives, the concept of YES…AND allows us to deal with things as they are, not as we wish they were. We may not agree with what is said or done, but we need to accept it because that is reality. Because of YES…AND, improvisers never seem stuck or off-balance. They don't spend time judging what they've been given or evaluating their response. They simply ACCEPT what they are given and ACT on it. In other words, improvisers understand the distinction between ACKNOWLEDGEMENT and APPROVAL.

IMPROV TECHNIQUE TO PRACTICE: Pay attention to all the times YES…BUT is used by you and by others around you. Develop the habit of substituting YES…AND wherever and whenever you can

HERE’S WHY IT WORKS: By training yourself to substitute YES…AND for the more common, and almost reflexive, YES...BUT, you can transform any relationship from a zero-sum game, where someone has to be right and another has to be wrong, into a dialogue where complementary, different and even opposing opinions can co-exist. You become better able to co-create with others who are allies. You also become adept at staying in dialogue with someone you disagree with. This gives you a better shot at a mutually satisfactory outcome whenever you are in communication with someone else.

Instructions can be found on  p.115 of my book, "Playing Along: 37 Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisational Theatre."  For free print-friendly instructions of "YES AND...", visit the appropriate link:  Adobe PDF Reader:  Click Here         Microsoft WORD:   Click Here

Thanks for playing along! Stay well and mirthful.    Izzy

Feel free to forward this e-zine to friends and colleagues who would be interested.


About the Author...

Whether presenting a keynote speech, a half or full day training, coaching for enhanced presentation skills or facilitating a discussion, Izzy is entertaining, informative and blatantly practical.  He was one of the first to bring the practical concepts of Improv Theater into use as a tool for improving teamwork, communication, leadership, and self development.

Check out Izzy's numerous free articles on improv, humor, and communication, as well as program information: www.izzyg.com

Izzy Gesell, CSP, helps organizations and the people within them transform their thinking to become more confident, competent, and creative.

Izzy's Upcoming Public Events!

IAF Conference
Ottawa, ON Canada

June 18, 2003 Preconference Program:
"Whose Life Is It Anyway: Facilitating Your Life Through Improv Theater Techniques"

Session Number BO246B

June 21, 2003 IAF Conference Program:
"Act II Advanced Improv Techniques"
Session Number BB179Q

Visit the conference website for more information: www.iaf-world.org


Please accept this complimentary copy of my first e-zine,
an offering that will come monthly.