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Leadership lessons from Theatre Improv

by Neeraj Tyagi Share via -

Let Go of Your Inhibitions - Nothing like Theatre Improv to let go of your inhibitions in a safe and jovial way. Lets see how?

Improvisation Theatre is as old as time itself. Before writing was invented, human beings used to tell stories by acting them out. Theatre as we know it today began in ancient Greece and gradually spread across Europe and the rest of the world. The word theatre comes from a Greek verb meaning ‘to behold’. Improvisation is a specific form of theatre wherein the story, characters and dialogue of a game or a scene are created at the spur of the moment. Often improvisers will take a suggestion from the audience, or draw inspiration from some other source to get started.

Improvisation is an experience that is co-created by the improvisers as well as the audience in a very unique way. If you see a performance, then that is it. There will never be another performance exactly like it done again. Improvisation is different every time and that is the beauty of it.
Improvisation for the Greeks has been more than the drama and poetry. Greeks were able to use Improvisation and its techniques in other areas as well like philosophy, science, mathematics and medicine. Historically, in the world, improvisation appears only toward the end of the 18th century, but it is equivalent to the earlier expression Impromptu, borrowed from French, that has the same meaning.

Improv is in the moment, spontaneous, entertaining, and lot of fun. To fully experience and appreciate the beauty of Improv it is important to experience it firsthand either by acting or by participating as the audience. I was lucky enough to experience improvisation theatre as an actor for the first time last year. Instantly I became a fan of improvisation theatre and started practising it more actively.


Actors and leaders have been talked about by people all over the world for their similarities, dissimilarities and connections. It is often interesting to learn the leadership lessons that can be drawn from theatre and can be learned and implemented by professionals at workplace. While the benefits of learning theatre are immense, I am sharing the top five benefits for a short and crisp read.

1) Confidence: Improv is an extremely engaging way to increase self confidence in a very safe and jovial environment. It helps us fail in a more acceptable way and hence results in increased confidence with self and others.

2) Responsibility: Improv allows us to take full responsibility of ourselves and helps us understand a very important lesson of life that we cannot change others but we can change ourselves to achieve our goals.

3) Creative thinking: Improv helps us in accepting that we are creative and then teaches us to use our creative thinking for an array of activities. It allows us to take risks and become better at what we do.

4) Conceptualization: Improv creates an environment of opportunity in which we are able to think beyond ourselves and conceptualize new things with an open mind. This skill is helpful at the workplace to improve one’s thinking level and focus.

5) Leadership: Improv helps us in leading ourselves. As we learn leading ourselves better we are also able to inspire others to do the same. This contributes to the eco system and helps an organisation to create culture of growth by leading self.

Happy Leading !

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