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Learn from a Leader: Leadership Lessons from Improv

There’s a concept in improv comedy called “Yes, and…” It’s used to introduce new topics or scenarios. The performers agree to the premise before expanding on it.

But there’s more to it than just saying “Yes, and…” The key to making the concept work is letting go of expectations in that moment. Performers shouldn’t use “Yes, and…” to shoehorn their preconceived idea into the skit because the outcome is never very good. In fact, Jonni Ressler, improv comedian and CEO of Eleven 11 Solutions, says often it leads to confusion.

Performers need to drop their expectations of what they thought would happen on stage and be open to what is happening in the moment. And here’s where we find a business and leadership correlation. 

Leaders can create confusion when they incorrectly apply the “Yes, and…” technique. For example, let’s say you call your team together for a...

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