20 May FE: Enter listening
“Your life is always speaking to you. It speaks in whispers, guiding you to your next right step.” ~Oprah
With more parts of the world re-opening, let’s take time to polish our top entrepreneur skills.
The art and science of active listening may not come naturally to an entrepreneur constantly creating, innovating, and talking through their ideas. Are you pausing the conversation to listen and “read the room”? Do you hear what is being said verbally or non-verbally?
Learning how to pause…to be present in a conversation and ask important follow-up questions can help you switch how you react in pressing situations.
As a strong listener, you can pick up on feedback more quickly and can better understand the perspective of the person you’re communicating with, whether a client or an investor.
Try a playful way to get better at listening with an online improve class (The Second City–
https://www.secondcity.com/courses/chicago/online-classes ); with games and activities, you’ll get better at thinking on the spot and listening carefully to what other people in the class are saying to help you come up with a response.
Now that I have more experience, I understand that listening is a central part of presenting and acting; it brings in the chance to react with the character.
Second City helped cement its status as a cornerstone of comedy and performance by listening to the audience. In previews, they listen to applause, surprise, groans and outbursts.
By flipping the “Yes, And” switch and being ready to collaborate, more ideas can percolate. When listening and paying attention, some ideas float better than others. (Discover Yes, And in book form as well! https://www.amazon.com/Yes-Improvisation-Reverses-Creativity-Collaboration-Lessons/dp/0062248545 )
In the book I can see how the concepts of improv build on each other to create space and frees creativity. So, improvisation is not always asking me to get on a literal stage and perform.
This idea especially piques my interest when Kelly brings it up: “Improv is a language for your life and rules for engagement.”
Kelly shared candid stories of editing the drafts and discussing them with Harper Collins. They too gave the authors a chance to experiment and find the truth of the book.
Get in touch with what is working. Be honest about what is not working. and be open to taking a break.
As Kelly mentioned, trying out ideas is a key. Failing is so important. Even failing publicly, to get in touch with what is working. Dawn mentioned that you can tell that the current Saturday Night Live cast has been through failing publicly and have honed the other skills that are pillars of improv.
I’m not going to paraphrase every chapter of “Yes, And”, but I share more insight and elaborate on the idea that “improv is a superpower”! ICYMI: “Yes, And” Comes into Play – The Wishwall
We’ll be back next blog with another key skill for entrepreneurs.
Thank you to our millions of readers! Best wishes and I welcome your thoughts, insights, progress, applause and groans with #ShineThroughtheNoise on Twitter and Instagram.
Akasha Garnier for #TheWishwall
Author, Brand Expert, Filmmaker
Photo: AkashaLin, The Lodge at Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland
Read more from: FE: Top entrepreneur skills – The Wishwall