10 Days with Keith Johnstone
I participated in a 10 day improvisation course with Keith Johnstone in Calgary Alberta at the end of July. Keith Johnstone is a master of improvisation and one of the top teachers I have ever worked with in any subject. The course was engaging, interesting, informative, practical, and trans-formative. I have yet to sort out all of the lessons that I have taken away from the 10 days that apply to employee engagement but there are many.
Click here to read a personal/professional journal of my thoughts during the course.
Here are a few of the immediate things I took away and will work at integrating.
What comes next? To be able to ask the question of ourselves and others: What comes next? If you do something to change the relationship with employees, what comes next? If you start to pay closer attention – what comes next? If you downsize about 15% of your staff – what comes next? We learned during the course to work at making what comes next positive for the other person while also making space for them to give a positive no.
Be average. So often we try so hard that we get in our own way. Don’t be oblivious to the obvious.
Have fun and show people that you are enjoying yourself. Make your eyes big and let people see your teeth. You don’t have to take a FISH! course or be false but if you are not engaged, how can you expect anyone else to be engaged with you. Let the people at work know that you are happy to work with them.
Be willing and able and ready to fail. Try things and see how they work. You learn from failure so don’t avert your eyes – see what occurs during and after failure and use that to learn.
Are you growing or are you fixed? Is you mind set on growth or is it fixed? Keith did not talk about Carol Dweck’s work but I often thought about it during the course. Click here to see a great one page PDF handout contrasting the fixed versus growth mindset. I believe the growth mindset greatly contributes to more engagement in our work.
Age does not disengage. Keith is 75 years old and often taught 6 hours a day. I have fully learned that age does not disengage! As I reflect more on what I learned I will offer some more insights and actions that can foster engagement at work.