Improv Tip of the Month: Change Reaction

Barry Edwards
Category : Improvisation November 6, 2012

This month’s Improv Tip is from Barry Edwards, Improv Contributor.

Think about a change you have experienced in an organization. Did you have to move work space from an office with a view to a cube in the middle of the office? Did a new CEO take the reins of the company? Was there a new policy that affected your day-to-day? Now think about the reactions you experienced. “I can’t believe I’m being downgraded from an office to a cube!” (denial). “The new CEO may fire us all!” (fear). “This new policy will make my job easier!” (acceptance).

Improv Tip of the Month: What Animals Can Teach Us About Innovation

Cary Paul
Category : Improvisation October 4, 2012

This article is from Cary Paul, our Chief Improv Officer:

There are some great lessons we business types can learn from the world of biology, one of which leads us back to the basic truth about survival: adapt or die. Read on to discover an improv favorite that offers invaluable practice with moving out of personal or organizational ruts and into positive and constructive thinking.

An unconventional client retention strategy

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships, Consulting September 19, 2012
Most people usually don’t think of empathy as having much business value. In fact, you might think if you start empathizing with your clients, you’ll lose your edge; you’ll appear “soft;” you’ll lose business. Here’s a compelling story* about a global firm that turned that conventional wisdom on its ear and transformed a big loss into a big win.

Make a lasting impression one auto-reply at a time

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships August 21, 2012
I lead workshops in different parts of the world that can consume me for days at a time. Heaps of work emails pile up in the meantime. And because I’m slightly obsessive about being responsive, I believe in using auto-replies. A few months ago I started experimenting with unique and sometimes quirky ones (for me). Little did I know they would cause quite a stir.

Story Time: want a relationship breakthrough? Role-play your client.

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships August 20, 2012
Our Story Time series brings you real, personal examples from business life that shed light on specific ways to lead with trust. Our last story proved that good intentions won’t keep you from screwing up. Today’s story highlights the business value of taking time to see the world from another’s perspective.

Story Time: good intentions won’t keep you from screwing up

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships, Trusted advisorship July 25, 2012
Our Story Time series brings you real, personal examples from business life that shed light on specific ways to lead with trust. Our last story told of innovation, trust, and the freedom to fail. Today’s anecdote zeroes in on the importance of living the trust principles all the time.

Humility is overrated: 7 tips for being your own best PR person

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships July 17, 2012
I can easily preach to my clients that it’s a disservice not to sell—that it’s part of our professional obligation to be of service. Apparently though, I have a problem practicing what I preach when it comes to selling myself—being assertive about calling attention to who I am and what I contribute. Just the other day I was admonished by a colleague (in a very nice way) for being reluctant to send a promotional email to a list of favorite clients. His exact words were, “Don’t waste another moment on worrying about it being too commercial; it is not too commercial, it is very well stated, and it is a service to all of your readers. So, stop that now!”

The Business of Improv: How Leaders Can Make It Safe to Take Risks

Cary Paul
Category : Improvisation July 12, 2012

This article is from Cary Paul, our Chief Improv Officer:

Strong leaders inevitably face the challenge of helping people step outside their comfort zones. Today’s blog sheds light on the two key components of creating an environment that makes it safe for people to try something new.

Improv Tip of the Month: Leap and the Net Will Appear

Barry Edwards
Category : Improvisation July 11, 2012

This month’s improv tip is from Barry Edwards, Improv Contributor

There is a saying by American essayist John Burroughs: ”Leap and the net will appear”. I first heard this quote from a good friend when I was considering leaving a good job to change careers. Ever since then, I’ve been living my life with that in mind. Whether it’s changing careers or moving to a new city, whenever I’ve leapt that proverbial net has always appeared.

The three Ps of trust

Andrea Howe
Category : Trusted advisorship June 28, 2012
Trust is a complex concept in human relationships. In our Chapter 1 of the still-pretty-new The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook, we explore ten fundamental attitudes that take aim at the complexities of trust, breaking it down so that it can be managed and more readily increased. Think of the Three Ps as the short list; they represent the core of our thinking on trust.

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