This blog is the journey of Lorenc Consulting and Entertainment as we continue to encourage creativity and innovation by using the concepts of improv comedy in everyday life. Any kind of group or organization can benefit from our improv-based corporate training, focusing on team-building, hyper listening and communication skills, and thinking on your feet.

Fully committing to your daily interactions

by Toby Lorenc

I watched The Voice tonight on NBC and a few singers were having a difficult time at their auditions before their head-to-head competition with another singer. Time and time again, the coaches talked to them about committing to the part, committing to the song and committing to themselves that they had the talent to sing some very difficult songs.

 

When training for the improv stage, we talk about commitment.  It's a crucial element in everything we do in a scene.  If we are not fully committed to our characters, our reason for being on stage, or the story we're telling, the audience can tell.

 

Typically, we are not fully committed because of a lack of confidence. Of course, there are many reasons we may not be confident in something, but this hesitation shows and magnifies to the audience as we struggle through the scene we've set up, but haven't committed ourselves to the moment.

 

Sound familiar? Often times in life, people are seen (and probably rightly so) as lacking confidence when they don't commit to what they've "set up" or what they have to accomplish. Whether it's your beliefs, your physical presence, or who you are as a person, if you're not fully in it, you're audience (everyone around you) notices your hesitation and it can be a train wreck.  They start feeling your uncomfortableness and nervousness as you focus on the wrong things.

 

So, what are the wrong things? The negative.  The unknown.  As soon as we start focusing on what we don't know, our minds wander and we begin to picture "worst case scenarios" which distract us from the task at hand. We're suddenly not in the moment and it's obvious.

 

So what does this look like for you in everyday life? It means being present in the moment and doing everything intentionally to accomplish your goals. It means focusing on what you know, not what you don't know. Learning to speak positive thoughts to yourself and putting it all on the line, so that when you walk away you know you couldn't have done it any better.

 

Give yourself the opportunity to succeed instead of the excuses to fail. 

 


Life with the unhappy co-worker

by Toby Lorenc
Most of us don't have the luxury of choosing our co-workers. There are all types of people, personalities, emotions, and challenges that enter the workplace in the form of co-workers. Truth is, we all bring a good and bad mix to the environment.

So, how do we learn to deal with a difficult colleague?

I'll say it now - I don't have all the answers and I would be curious to hear your stories of how you've dealt with difficult people in the past.  However, I do have a few suggestions which come straight from the concepts of improv comedy.

Positivity: Personally, I think this is the most important. In improv comedy, we focus on being positive on stage. It's resisting the urge to fight, argue, put others down, and just have a bad attitude in general. Keep yourself and your comments positive. No one likes the constant whiner who's never happy about anything and your positive attitude will be noticed and appreciated by others.

Listening: It's easy to ignore someone who annoys you but take a moment to truly listen to what they're asking for, challenging, or proposing. Their ideas may surprise you, despite the way they choose to communicate them. Listen, observe, then wait...listen some more.

Encouragement: Take the high road and turn around with a compliment, even if you're being insulted. Yes, much easier said than done, but you'll gain respect with everyone around you. Look for the gifts and talents that person brings to the table, not the negative things.

Teamwork:
Whether you're on a direct team with a difficult person, or simply in the same organization, remember you're there to accomplish the same goal. Find ways to make others the hero! I guarantee you that everyone has something to add to your team, from skills to ideas. Find their passions and use them to mutually accomplish your goals.

Choose your battles: I had a boss who believed in this concept to the core. Some discussions and arguments simply are not worth wasting your energy. Some people just enjoy arguing with you and they're simply fighting just to watch you get frustrated. Don't waste your time - move on to the important things that are truly going to make a difference. 

Tell us your experiences dealing with others in your organization - we all learn best from experience!

Additional References:
15 Tips to Stay Positive in Negative Situations
How to Really Listen to Someone
"Yes, and" Business



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