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.

Five years ago, I found myself at the DC Improv taking my first improvisational comedy class. (The same friend who shared the quote convinced me to try my hand at improv comedy.) Every time I would be on the stage performing an improvised scene, I would have that Burroughs’ saying in the back of mind. Being on stage with no script and no idea what will be happen next,  I trusted that once I leapt into the scene the result would be funny and rewarding—in other words the net would appear.

Leaping, or taking risks, is an every day event in the workplace.  Should I speak up in the meeting? How do I tell my direct report that he’s not working up to his potential? Will my presentation be a success? The practice of improv comedy is a great way to become more comfortable with taking risks, and learning to trust that the net will appear.

Click here for Barry’s suggestions on improv games that are easy for you to facilitate.

Originally published by BossaNova Consulting Group, Inc.
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Barry Edwards

Barry Edwards

What gets me out of bed in the morning is the opportunity to really engage people—whether I’m coaching an executive, leading a workshop, or facilitating a meeting. That’s because I believe engagement is the key to workplaces that make a difference. I’m also an improvisational comedy performer, teacher, and overall enthusiast. I’ve led dozens of workshops (and written a series of blog articles) on how to bring the art of improv to the business world.

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