Professional Development: Improvising our way to better collaboration
During the first quarter of each year, the Kx team gathers together to kick off the year. We spend time reflecting on the preceding year and reviewing our firmwide annual goals and initiatives for the year ahead. We also set aside dedicated time to invest in Kx employees’ professional development. This year we decided to partner with DC Improv to guide us through some fun improvision games.
Improv as Professional Development
Improv is a great way to practice communication skills and listening in a safe collaborative environment. A common reminder in improv is to be present. You must listen to others in the room and then be able to react quickly, thinking on your feet. These skills are vital in our roles as consultants when we’re required to respond in real time to our clients, extemporaneously expounding upon our presented ideas.
We also practiced building on others’ ideas with the common improv approach of “yes, and…” which stresses the need to elaborate upon ideas and collaborate with your group to move the scene forward. We continuously work together to bring the best solutions to our client’s problems. Practicing building on each other’s ideas in this setting fosters cohesion, creative thinking, and effective communication. These listening and acceptance skills are part of the radical empathy we endeavor to bring to our everyday practices in our interactions with coworkers and clients alike.
The session also provided an opportunity to discuss our work style preferences and how best to tailor our working styles to those of our colleagues. From agendas and gradients to icons and early morning touchpoints, we all learned a little about how to collaborate and listen. Most importantly, we had a lot of laughs and formed some great, new inside jokes!
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