E10: Max Dickins - Using Improv principles for better storytelling
“So, I have this concept which I call ‘Listening to Ignite’, which is, you're listening for things that can really light up the other person. So, it's about what your curiosity clicks into. And can you ask a question that allows them a launchpad to show the best of their skill, their experience, their expertise, their background? And I think in that occasion, when you're thinking of those questions, when you're thinking of something you remember, not being present with that person is almost the more generous act.”That is Max Dickins, an improv artist who helps leaders and their teams get extraordinary outcomes through the use of improvisation techniques.Many months back, I had reviewed Max's superb book, 'Improvise: Use the Secrets of Improv to achieve Extraordinary Results at Work' and was delighted to have him on my podcast.For the uninitiated, improv, short for ‘Improvisational theatre’ is the art of unscripted theatre. But it goes so much beyond that. It’s a whole different way of thinking. A way of thinking that has applications in almost all aspects of life - whether at work or at home.In the book, Max shares several lessons from improv that can help you to: • Be more creative • Listen better • Become more mentally agile • Improve spontaneity • Enhance collaboration • Embrace failure and learn from it We touch upon all of these topics in the conversation. I specifically was curious to know how Improv principles can help us listen and present better at the workplace. Max has some great ideas for us. Links to resources:Max Dickins' websiteMax' Twitter handleHis LinkedIn pageHis Amazon author pageMy review of his bookThis podcast was hosted by me, Ravishankar Iyer. Audio editing by Kartik Rajan. Transcript editing by Amisha Jha and all-round support by Sanket Aalegaonkar.