Communicate to Innovate: Tips from the World of Improvisation

Effective communication is at the heart of innovation: harnessing insights from customers, partners and co-workers, sharing ideas, building upon points of view, advocating and gaining support for one’s innovations all require razor sharp communication. Interestingly enough, communicating effectively is a two-way street.

Listening and declaring are the building blocks of any communication exchange; however, if executed poorly, they can make an exchange fall apart. Whether in an improv scene or in a boardroom, the sender and receiver in a conversation must cooperate fully and whole-heartedly. Here are a few tips to help you communicate clearly and effectively as you embark on your innovation journey.

Make a statement

Great listening is not enough to make communication successful: you also need to practice the behavior of declaring, i.e. sending your messages skillfully. By introducing clear information from the very start, you will set your team up for success. For an improviser or a business person, a declaration signals the start of an idea exchange, a collaboration, the creation of something new. It’s a clear, concise way of letting your colleagues know your point of view and what you want to accomplish. A good declaration can be built upon, adapted and used as a springboard for more ideas.

You would be surprised at how often making assumptions and failing to clarify can put us in a mindset of fear.

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