Learning Social Skills Virtually
Using Applied Improvisation to Enhance Teamwork, Creativity and Storytelling
Digital workshops and meetings have established a firm foothold in our everyday lives and will continue to be part of the new professional normal, whether we like it or not. This book demonstrates how workshops and meetings held online can be made just as interactive, varied and enjoyable as face-to-face events.
The methods from improvisational theatre are surprisingly well suited for online use and bring the liveliness, playful levity and co-creativity that are often lacking in digital lessons and meetings. Applied improvisation is an experience-oriented method that is suitable for developing all soft skills – online and offline. Alongside brief introductions to the most relevant themes, the book contains numerous practical exercises in the areas of teamwork, co-creativity, storytelling, status and appearance, with examples of how to implement them online.
This book, written in the climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, is important reading for everyone – coaches, professionals and executives – looking for new impulses for their digital workshops and meetings, and who would like to expand the variety of their online methods. It offers new perspectives on many soft skills topics and supports interactive, engaging, lively and profitable online learning.
Table of Contents
Preface 01. Applied improvisation 02. Creativity 03. Teamwork 04. Storytelling 05. Status and image 06. Practical examples
Susanne Schinko-Fischli is a psychologist and actress and an expert in using applied improvisation to teach soft skills. She lectures at various universities in Austria and Switzerland and delivers training for companies such as IBM, Frequentis and Swisscom. She is also the author of the book Applied Improvisation for Coaches and Leaders, published by Routledge.
"This book shows how the tools of improvisation can bring greater agility towards dealing with insecurity and complexity in working life. While mostly about handling virtual environments, you’ll find reminders of truths that stay with us whether face-to-face or online, such as the value of co-creative cooperation.
Schinko-Fischli rightly puts the emphasis on interaction ahead of technology, noting for example the advantages of Zoom over other platforms in its offers of visibility of participants and welcoming breakout rooms. There are tips for increasing spontaneity and connection, such as inviting participants to keep their cameras and microphones on. And there’s a good selection of games, ranging from the simplicity of word association to more complex forms such as invented birthday messages - and even suggestions to help us go beyond the screen, like connecting with a colleague via a mobile to take a reflective walk."
Paul Z Jackson, author of EASY: Your LIFEPASS to Creativity and Confidence and The Inspirational Trainer