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.

The Benefits of Corporate Team Building Events

by Toby Lorenc

The Benefits of Corporate Team Building Events

Corporate team building events can bring staff closer together and can enhance employee engagement levels dramatically. They can encourage staff to interact and communicate even when they have barely liaised with one another before, and can heighten staff morale levels, making your staff happier and ultimately more productive. Corporate event entertainment can be excellent when it comes to team building, and by putting on an unforgettable, magical event for your staff you can show them that their efforts are appreciated and reward them for their hard work. Your event can incorporate games and other activities that can help staff work together in a fun and interactive way, and can underline the importance of teamwork at the same time.

Promoting Interaction

Whether you’re booking Christmas party entertainment or putting on an event at any other time of year, the acts that you book can nurture interaction and participation, making everyone feel like they are part of the occasion. In a more relaxed environment, staff can give feedback about how they feel about their workplace, what makes them happy and what can be improved. The slate is blank when it comes to business event planning, and you can be as creative as you like. A fun corporate event can nurture job satisfaction, allowing staff to feel wanted and part of a happy and productive team.

Better Team Building Activities

Your event can include a mix of team-building exercises, brainstorming sessions and role-play, and there’s surely no better way to round off an event than offering up great food, drink and entertainment. If people that rarely communicate with each other interact with each other at an event, they can take their new-found friendship back to the office afterwards.  A corporate event can make your team more closely knit, and enable them to focus better on common goals. Team building activities at corporate events can establish new groups and break down the barriers between existing ones.

Booking Christmas Party Entertainment?

Meanwhile, when it comes to corporate event entertainment, your options really are vast, but it can be an idea to ask your team about what does and doesn’t appeal to them to avoid alienating them. If your staff are bored at a corporate event, you may find that the results bear little resemblance to what you were targeting. Ask for suggestions and you’ll get a better idea of which kind of live entertainment might appeal, whether they’re interested in something conventional such as a live band or a comedian, or perhaps something more outlandish such as a stilt walker, fire eater or even a life like dinosaur – a surprisingly common sight at some of today’s corporate parties. You may find it easier to book entertainment through an agency rather than going alone, as the acts booked this way are typically vetted and of extremely high quality. This takes much of the risk away from booking event entertainment, ensuring that the performers themselves are of a higher calibre. 


SWOT some sense into it

by Toby Lorenc

Ever feel confused where to go next with potential opportunities?  Try the SWOT analysis: a quick and easy way to evaluate new programs, ideas, and strategies.


During a strategic meeting today, the leadership team was dropping the phrase, "We should do a SWOT on that" and our admin assistant finally asked me what the hell they were talking about. I'm glad she asked the question - and it made me realize there are some incredibly effective techniques for dealing with new opportunities that many people are not familiar with.


Do you know what SWOT stands for?  It's okay if you don't - you're here to learn.  SWOT is an acronym (that's a word where each letter represents a word - wow, you're learning all kinds of stuff today! including some terrible grammar and punctuation from this blog post!). Anyway, it stands for STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, and THREATS (S.W.O.T.).  As you work with it, keep in mind that typically the 1st two (strengths and weaknesses) are typically internal to the team or organization, the 2nd two are usually external (outside of the company, team or organization).


Here's an example, which hits close to home and is totally transparent:


  • Lorenc Consulting and Entertainment wants to launch corporate training to companies worldwide, using the concepts of improv comedy:
  • (S) STRENGTHS:
  • * We've been doing it for 8 years
  • * Whenever we do it, we get rave reviews
  • * We can customize the training for groups and companies
  • * Our trainers are very knowledgeable on improv
  • * We have worked with large, worldwide clients already
  • * We have a niche market for team building using improv comedy
  • (W) WEAKNESSES:
  • * Schedules of trainers make it tough to schedule
  • * We don't currently have a worldwide reach other than previous clients
  • * Our costs are prohibitive for smaller companies or organizations
  • * Communicating the importance of our message
  • * Creating a sales pitch that encompasses what we do 
  • * Helping organization and teams find value before they see the results of the training
  • (O) OPPORTUNITIES: 
    • Using our connections through Center for Creative Leadership and other worldwide organizations to promote our training
    • * Finding non-profits to "donate" our training hours with hope of word-of-mouth advertising
  • * Making more connections to Organizational Development (OD) professionals
  • * Networking with individuals with whom we've done Confidence Coaching
  • (T) THREATS:
  • * Larger improv groups and training companies taking development money 
  • * Online training and low-cost solutions

Make use of this valuable analysis in your groups, teams and organizations to develop strategies and best use of resources. 

Don't let your confusion stall you from making important decisions. Now that you have this information, you are "in the know" and as GI Joe reminds us, "Knowing is half the battle" - you're welcome for that 80's flashback :)



I am good at...

by Toby Lorenc
Wordle: IamGoodAt

We're all part of teams, groups, committees, clubs, etc. which are working toward a common goal. And wouldn't it be nice if we knew what tools we had right in front of us to accomplish that goal? All you have to do is ask!

 

One of my favorite activities to do with a group is simply having everyone complete the sentence: "I AM GOOD AT..." Have them individually stand up and confidently proclaim what they're good at.  Sure, you're going to get a variety of answers: some people just want to be funny and get attention, some want to brag about something they've done or are working on, and some won't know what to say at all.  Just make sure when you're explaining it that everyone knows there is no wrong answer and it can be as simple as "tying your shoe" but make sure everyone contributes something. The first round, you'll get lots of personal things like sports, musical instruments, parenting, and more.  For the second round, encourage everyone to think of something they're good at that could benefit the group, specifically towards the goals you are trying to accomplish.

 

Do a quick debrief once you get everyone's answer and help them realize they can't work together well unless they know who to turn to when there's a need.  Plus, now that they know what interests people have and what excites them, you're more likely to connect to passion and get better results when specific skills are needed. Between Tim who's "good at being tall and reaching things" and Lacey who's "good at organizing" you just found two great candidates for arranging the storage closet with high shelves.

 

Take it a step further: I have all my clients who I do confidence coaching with write down 5 things a week they are good at.  Keep this list in a notebook - it's tough once you start getting past 10, but that's because people are usually overthinking it and lack confidence. You'll be amazed and encouraged in a few months as you realize the breadth of your skills.

 

For more information on our customized solutions and in-house training, please contact us.


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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