Conversatin' on the improve it! Couch: Using Active Communication and Learning How to "Walk the Walk"

Conversatin' on the improve it! Couch: Using Active Communication and Learning How to "Walk the Walk"

Join Allie & Erin on the improve it! couch to chat about why "Effective Communication" is our most popular workshop, how they "Walk the Walk" with their internal team, and their communication role models.

Feel free to listen in via podcast, or get the highlights from the conversation below!

Curious how to apply the improve it! methodology to your own dreams? Check out our "Active Communication" DIY Coaching Curriculum here as a part of our improve You! Series.

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Values, Goals, and 2018 Actions: Grab a Seat on the Couch with Allie & Erin!

Values, Goals, and 2018 Actions: Grab a Seat on the Couch with Allie & Erin!

Join Allie & Erin on the improve it! couch to chat about what values make the office tick, how they set (and celebrate!) goals, and how to turn your visions into a reality. (SPOILER ALERT: The answer is hard work and persistence).

Feel free to listen in via podcast, or get the highlights from the conversation below!

Curious how to apply the improve it! methodology to your own dreams? Check out our "Confidence in Change" DIY Coaching Curriculum here as a part of our improve You! Series.

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Graduate from being a boss, be a mentor

Graduate from being a boss, be a mentor

In the varied experiences that 22 years have given me, I’ve found some great bosses; but I had never had the privilege of experiencing a mentor in the workplace (hint: until improve it! Came along). As it turns out, there’s a pretty big difference.

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Get Your Wednesday Communication Inspiration

Get Your Wednesday Communication Inspiration

Back from the weekend with a laundry list of calls? Let these icons help create some communication inspiration! https://open.spotify.com/user/improveitchi/playlist/09k0Ozlt1xLdMewBVnqSeh

Looking for more than just a dose of inspiration? Master your client communication skills at our Q3 Public Workshop!

RSVP here: http://www.improveitchicago.com/upcoming-events/

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improve it! on "The Culture Chat" podcast for WorkXO

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Take a listen to improve it!'s own Erin Diehl on "The Culture Chat", a podcast from our friends over at WorkXO! Erin and the WorkXO crew talk company culture and how improv fits into the mix. For a bonus, check out Allie Keller's blog reaction to the podcast where she explains how we're all Steaks, Potatoes, or Parsleys. Trust us - it makes sense!

Listen to the podcast here.

Too Late: Business is Politics is Business

Too Late: Business is Politics is Business

No matter your political leanings or beliefs - this inauguration day we're about to embark on a journey to an unknown destination. No matter if you're scared, relieved, excited, neutral, or angry: it's real and it's happening.

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The Best Improvisers Aren't On the Stage, They're in the Office

The Best Improvisers Aren't On the Stage, They're in the Office

If you asked me, point blank, who are better improvisers - the people i work with in my "comedy" life or the people I work with in my "career" life, I wouldn't even have to hesitate. The "careers" have it.

Hear me out.

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How improve it!’s workshop pushed me to step out of my comfort zone

How improve it!’s workshop pushed me to step out of my comfort zone

How does one step out of their comfort zone? As a young woman, I’m always looking to stay within my comfort zone and stick with what I’m good at. I am definitely not one to raise my hand in class or spit out the ideas in my head. Instead, I sit there wondering if my idea was good enough and if I should even share my opinion. Improve it!’s public workshop certainly helped to push me out of my comfort zone and into the real world of improv, where effective communication and confidence is key.

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How improve it!’s Workshop helped me Conquer my Fear of Public Speaking

How improve it!’s Workshop helped me Conquer my Fear of Public Speaking

Public speaking. We’ve all done it and at times hate it, especially me. I’m that girl who stumbles her words, sweats profusely, and shakes as if I were holding a pair of maracas. Talking in front of people is something I’ve never been comfortable doing, but it’s something I know I can’t avoid. Everyone always tells me, “The more you do it, the better you get at it,” which is why I decided to try improv during improve it!’s public workshop.

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Diary of a Mad Business Woman / Improviser

Diary of a Mad Business Woman / Improviser

It’s 2:15 PM on a Wednesday.  Your body has molded to your chair and your mind has gone into hibernation mode.  Such sweet slumber.  Suddenly the shrill ring of your phone jars you awake, your email is invaded by marching red flags, all marked “Urgent”, and your calendar dings a 15 minute warning about the quarterly meeting with your boss.  The list of tasks is staggering and the weight of responsibility is overwhelming.  What are you to do?

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"Tell Me About Yourself." The Dreaded Interview Question and How Improv Can Help!

"Tell Me About Yourself." The Dreaded Interview Question and How Improv Can Help!

“So, tell me a little about yourself.” The dreaded open-ended interview question.  It’s inevitable.  I shift in my seat, cough, and then drone on in a prepared statement about my qualifications, effectively reciting my cover letter by memory.  “I AM A HUMAN FEMALE WHO ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND FROM TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT TO TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE…”  Everything I’m saying is true, but I watch in horror as the interviewer’s eyes glaze over, the corners of their mouth twist into a forced smile, and they sigh, preparing to power through the rest of the interview.

I consider myself to be a somewhat interesting human being, so why do I lose all personality and sense of self when answering this question?  I truly struggled with this before I started improvising, but I no longer fear it after applying these three simple improv rules. 

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improve it! Challenge #3 "Collaboration"

improve it! Challenge #3 "Collaboration"

Welcome to the improve it! challenge! This challenge is all about collaboration and validating others' thoughts and ideas.

Here's how to play: 

1) Watch this 38 second video for this week's challenge
2) Tell us how you used "yes, and" to validate another person's thoughts and offered up a suggestion to take the conversation to the next level.
3) On Friday, September 11th  a winner will be chosen based off their response and highlighted on our social media pages. 

*In addition, all winners will receive a spot for themselves and three friends in our Q4 Public Workshop as well as receive a $10.00 Starbucks gift card.*

We look forward to hearing your results!

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Improv to the Rescue! How Improv Can Save You in a Meeting When You're Unprepared

Improv to the Rescue! How Improv Can Save You in a Meeting When You're Unprepared

After back-to-back client meetings, my boss hung up the phone, looked at me, and said, “let’s eat.” It had been a productive, albeit very tiring morning full of meetings and negotiations and we both needed to get some lunch before continuing on with the day.  What I forgot was that I blocked off my lunch hour in order to prepare for an operations meeting that was occurring in the afternoon.

Instead of checking in with my team and seeing where the progress on a project stood, I was enjoying a bowl of chicken chili, a green smoothie, and talking with my boss about the NHL Playoffs. 

How many times has this happened to us? Where a meeting runs over and we don’t have time to prepare? Or, let’s be honest, we simply forget that we had a meeting? It’s happened to me more than a few times.

Rather than letting our unpreparedness set us up for failure, here are a holster of improv tactics that will not only make you look completely ready, but also allow you to effectively participate, stay present, and add value in any business meeting...

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Going Up - Episode 2

Going Up - Episode 2

The Spotty Truth is one of our three improvisational teams here at improve it!, and the “truth” is, we pinch ourselves daily that this talent is a part of our organization.

The Spotty Truth has been performing improvised biographies together for over two years. They have performed at The Den Theater, Studio BE, Bughouse Theater, Donny’s Skybox, Stage 773, Collaboraction Theater, Elgin Studio and all over Chicago. They have appeared in the St. Louis Fringe Festival, The Detroit Improv Festival, The Chicago Improv Festival and The Twin Cities Improv Festival. Spotty members have trained at comedy institutions The Second City, iO Theatre, the Annoyance Theatre, Comedy Sportz and 500 Clown Theatre.

The Spotty Truth has worked with us on a variety of workshops and performances, and are always high-energy, engaging and above all FUN to work with. Don’t believe us? Watch the video for THE (spotty) TRUTH.

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