FREQENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
BENEFITS OF ‘IMPROV@WORK’
What makes 'Improv@Work' a 𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑦 for the workplace?
You want your team working well, so they stay productive, enjoy the place and stay.
You want to keep your customers, to reduce your customer acquisition costs.
Omicron is changing the work environment. Improv is about accepting and working with change.
Improv fits these times quite well.
What 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑠 do you see in participants when they do your program?
Healthy changes need not be dramatic in order to have positive effects. Positive changes in behaviour (small and ongoing) can significantly benefit mental health and organisational outcomes. These can range from better communicating with colleagues and customers, better collaboration outcomes or better employee engagement
These effect people’s state of mind, and this effects the work environment, and this effects productivity and profitability directly.
What can we do to make sure improv 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑢𝑠?
More than purely signing off on some training, actively involving management in the improv sessions, ensures it becomes a part of the business, part of your staff development, retention and staff atraction program.
How do you overcome people's 𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑘-𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠 and keeping the 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑠 𝑞𝑢𝑜 going?
You bring out people’s creativity, risk taking and innovation by embracing these within the bubble of the exercises/games, where consequence is nil and mistakes are rewarded.
Noone really wants to live 1/3 of their life in the watchful eye for their career path. That exhaustion is normalised, but still wear you down.
We introduce the concept that it is safe to make mistakes, and celebrate them.
What is '𝑦𝑒𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑' and how does it 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘 for business?
“Yes, and” is the bedrock of improv, and life. You accept what someone offers, and you build on it.
While aiming to daily resolve multiple issues in business, we often bypass answers that lie outside.
‘Yes and’ gives you ways to take existing ideas and express them in ways that improve the end result for everyone.
As listening, being present, and taking your cues from your prospect are essential for keeping customers.
For instance, if your state while having a coffee with your client is more “how can I support this person and help them accomplish their goals?”, then improv fits in very well.
Check out our Resources page for more links to great descriptions of how to use ‘yes, and’.
Does '𝑦𝑒𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑' turn people into '𝑦𝑒𝑠 𝑚𝑒𝑛'?
A ‘yes man/woman’ agrees with whatever those with higher rank or status say or does. They show little agency, and often are the scapegoat for mistakes made by the higher-ups.
A ‘yes and’ atmosphere is the opposite to this, more like:
Each Improviser accepts the information their partner offers (the “yes,”) and adds more to it (the “and”) (Hines, 2016; Jagodowski, Pasquesi, & Victor, 2015).
Is 'Improv@Work' relevant for those who thrive on 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠?
Yes, a common belief is that stress brings in the wins. Yet, if that stress isn’t grounded, it can get out of control, especially when things aren’t going too well. We show how you can use it to get the most out of it, and make it your own.
How quickly can 'Improv@Work' change 𝑏𝑒ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑟?
What we won’t do is promise guaranteed changes to behaviour as a result of our program. It’d be awesome if we could, but that’s unrealistic.
Many individuals hate change. It is uncomfortable and stressful, so introducing something new, different and potentially disruptive is normally not initially greeted well. Large corporates often punish and remember mistakes, thus reducing people’s willingness to take risks and be creative, and keeping the safe status quo going, as people avoid potential pain from things not working out so well.
On average, the first 3-4 weeks brings in the concepts of improv strongly, and the proceeding smaller sessions ground it into behaviour. That’s why we take the small steps, and protect whatever advances you make.
Not everyone will be up for changing. Some are resistant the whole way through. But most have a break point in which they join the rest of the participants.
ABOUT ‘IMPROV@WORK’ VIDEO AND FACE-TO-FACE SESSIONS
Will 'improv@work' cause more '𝑍𝑜𝑜𝑚 fatigue'!
The nature of normal meetings can be very draining. The opposite is true with improv over Zoom. Rebootr’s sessions are active as well as sitting down. We mix it up, so you will be interacting at the screen with the people in different ways.
We’ll play with timing, loudness, looking and listening. And improv helps make many features of Zoom invigorating and engaging.
Do you do 𝑡𝑒𝑎𝑚 𝑏𝑢𝑖𝑙𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 exercises?
Does a scavenger hunt or murder mystery session help you improve sales results, customer connection or product quality? Sure, that’s not the objective. It’s to create a space where the team does something together and they share the experience. And then you come back to the office and productivity may increase or not.
For team building, it happens anyway as you do ‘Improv@Work’ exercises/games together.
‘Improv@Work’ does involve trusting your team, getting people comfortable around one and other, and strengthening bonds between coworkers.
It is with the goal of developing your reflexive problem solving and collaboration skills under stress. It’s not bonding for the sake of bonding.
Is improv another form of 𝑟𝑜𝑙𝑒-𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔?
Some role-playing happens in improv. Unlike standard role-playing in a sales training, for instance, people take on characters not to embarass but understand what it is like to be in another person’s mindframe.
Many improv exercises/games still address issues within a team without going for role-playing.
Do you offer 'Improv@Work' in 𝑛𝑜𝑛-𝐸𝑛𝑔𝑙𝑖𝑠ℎ languages?
Yes, this is quite possible through the use of more sound based or physical exercises.
We will train facilitators to work with businesses whose staff are primarily non-English speaking.
This means we can conduct the sessions in Korean, Japanese, Chinese and other APAC languages, such as Malay.
You use the word 'exercise/𝑔𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑠'. Why do we as adults have to do 𝑔𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑠?
Gamification is still high popular with training courses. Improv is no different. Improv does serious games and serious play.
It brings back a state that we were regularly in when we were a kid. A lot of the play state was lost as we focused on playing with objects that got bigger and bigger.
It just got put in storage, not lost, and with improv, it can come out and be used to help you reach a goal, overcome an issue or explore new ideas.
How does improv work over 𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑜 software?
We use Zoom with its breakout rooms feature bringing more intimate environments if needed in the exercises/games.
Although the boxed nature of people on screen seems like a separation, what helps people feel like they are in a room together is the nature of the exercise/games, and the connection it brings, even when everyone is physically remote.
However, we can adapt to MS Teams and Google Meets if that is what you use.
Is there any difference between over 𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑜 and 𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑒-𝑡𝑜-𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑒?
Yes, face-to-face is better than doing over video. However, for the limitations video conferencing has, improv over screen is more fun than standard meetings online. The lessons from improv still come through, most exercises/games can still be played, and for teams that cannot come together in one place, video works really well for that.
One area video shines over face to face is that you are heard by everyone, and many of the others get to watch a scene unfold and be resolved.
Will the sessions be 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑑𝑒𝑑?
Often, participants choose not be recorded. We create a safe space, and many participants will not want their more creative side shown to the world.
Participants may agree if it is so others or their team leader can see what happens. Some teams or situations even thrive off improvising (e.g. for brainstorming).
If participants agree, we may ask if we can use it as a part of promotion on our website. If this is granted, we ask which parts of the video they are happy with.
Which is the 𝑏𝑒𝑠𝑡 𝑑𝑎𝑦 to hold an 'Improv@Work' session?
For the biggest effect the team can get from the program is earlier in the week (Monday to Wednesday). Why? Because if a program is conducted on Friday, the weekend will be the best beneficiary. The earlier it takes place, the more changes in behaviour and developments can be measured and have an effect.
What examples do you have of how improv is 𝑠𝑢𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑓𝑢𝑙?
We are uploading case studies of our successes in teams. This is one for a hotel in the Sydney CBD.
KNOWING MORE ABOUT ‘IMPROV@WORK’
What ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑠 in a session?
The full text is here.
We warm you up with small exercises, both physical, sound and verbal. A Breakout Room is used so you can work in pairs to play through an game. You’ll get a good shot of adrenaline (this is what makes improv addictive to some people).
Every week, we push the envelope a bit further and the group becomes a powerhouse.
If the work environment is 𝑓𝑢𝑛, we won't get work done!
Fun only where is it appropriate. Improv doesn’t demand you joke around when a crisis hits. The fun in the program is aimed at better absorbtion of improv learnings.
A more accepting work environment means a less stressed work environment, and communication is less jammed up.
But I only deal with 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙 situations, not 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑑 ones.
The one big challenge is getting the head-based/adult planning/ disclaimer self out of the way. This left-brain dominant approach (for maths, IT, legal, finance etc.) is very effective for your day job, but not for moving beyond narrow confines.
Improv deals with real issues, opinions and situations, and is used throughout the day to creativity get our way from A to B and onto Z. Most of us are not aware of how we use it.
The fun word-plays that hit home are those with honesty and truth as their basis. This can be how someone is feeling or what issues your team is going through. The needs of the team determine the gams.
But I can imagine watching a show like Whose Line Is It Anyway? and thinking ‘that’ is improv. WLIIA is imagination on steroids. Their trick is massive editing of a 3 hours show down to 22 minutes.
Which 𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 do participants need to be from?
For your personal location: your WFH space.
For geographic location: We are Sydney, Australia based. But we accept any participants from UTC+5 to 8 hrs, and UTC+12 to +15hr. This includes:
UTC+11: Fiji and other pacific nations
UTC+10: Australia, PNG
UTC+9: South Korea, Japan
UTC+8: China, Phillipines, Taiwan
UTC+7: Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand
UTC+5: India, Sri Lanka
UTC-6: (MDT): e.g. Colorado, Utah, New Mexico
UTC-7 (PDT): California, Oregon, Washington State
UTC-8 (AKDT): Alaska
How do we bring in improv when our 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 budgets have been cut?
If Omicron is our last variant (not guarantee) and we are able to control any further variants from entering or getting loose in the environment, we have a chance to get back to normal.
Which means, in the new ‘post-Covid’ economic climate, there will need to be updating on how customers are and dealing with them. This is particular for retail. So training budgets will come back.
Those ready to start ahead of their competition haven’t cut their training or L&D budget. ‘Improv@Work’ is designed for those organisations and is cost-efficent.
Do you help our 𝑙𝑜𝑤 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑠 work more productively?
If you wish to bring your low performing our of a funk, improv has been shown to not have the biggest effect, however, they will change a bit. It’s your medium to high level performers, who get the biggest benefit with improv.
Over the long-term, as the team overall rises their productivity, this new environment challenges others to raise theirs.
My job does not involve 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑡𝑦. How can I apply improv to my work?
All jobs have some creativity. With improv, you discover how much creativity you can apply.
For instance, with IT people, improv helps problem solving. For lawyers, you step well into alternative points of views. For decision makers, you can reframe issues from negative to positive. For engineers, it can be as simple as reducing errors.
There are plenty of other examples and who they apply to, but you get the drift.
𝑊ℎ𝑜 is 'Improv@Work' suited for?
Everyone. Our exercises/games:
- fit the personality and sensibilities of introverts and extraverts, and
- cater to a majority of participants, especially those who have not attended an inprov class.
How many 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑝𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑠 per session?
Up to 15 people per session on video, and 50 people in person from any number of teams. Teams can be on different programs, and one ‘team’ can consist of staff from different locations who happen to work closely together. This applies equally to large enterprises and start-ups of 6 to 8 people.
How much will the 'Improv@Work' program 𝑐𝑜𝑠𝑡?
Our price is not the same as your cost. It’s your cost that we concentrate on. The value you see in our programs is how it helps you impact
For our price, we offer our program at $850 a session for 3 session, or $750 a session for 4 sessions, for up to 15 people on video, and 50 people in person. Although price isn’t the highest on the list of every buyer, it is an important consideration so the charge per team not per person helps keep this investment in your team low, and gives access to more people to do it.
Is improv 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑝𝑦?
No. However, some may feel challenged by some of the exercises/games in their own way, and we’re there to help them understand improv better, not heal them.
Why use a facilitator when we cane 𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑖𝑙𝑦 get word games off the internet?
Sure. However, why do photographers exist when we all have iPhones?
Playing the games according to instructures is easy. We share them knowing full well some people will download and try to do it themselves.
You can do the games without a facilitator, and you may or may not reach the result you are after. Knowing how to facilitate the exercises/games so everyone’s on the same mindset is more difficult.
This is where we come in.
A facilitator is also distant from the personal lives and relationships of the participants. They can act as an impartial observer and reflect back to everyone, irrespective of where they appear on the internal social hierarchy.
DOING THE AN ‘IMPROV@WORK’ SESSION WITH OTHERS
Is improv 𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑣𝑎𝑛𝑡 to what I do at work?
Yes. We constantly get skills and tools to use daily that helps you and your team be more productive, clear and effective with how you communicate with colleagues, management and customers.
Especially living in our Covid world, things change on a constant and sudden basis (witness the voluntary lockdown people took), and improv has tools that apply to suriving and thriving in uncertainty and change.
How can a team that thrives on 𝑑𝑜𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑛𝑡 personalities take part?
In improv, dominant personalities get as much equal time to those non-dominant. We make sure introverts get time to speak and be heard, and extraverts can meet them in the middle.
See also our answer to “My voice usually isn’t heard.”
I'm an 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑡 (𝑎𝑤𝑘𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑑/𝑠ℎ𝑦), and sometimes my voice isn't heard. However, I'm not comfortable being pushed to have to speak
Fair enough! ‘Improv@Work’ sessions are:
- not performance or comedy/zinger one-lines orientated.
- built around the needs of you and the team, which includes introverts.
- designed to not push you. But we do encourage participation when appropriate).
Comedy groups full of extrovert activity have a lot to answer for! Every group of participants always has shy people. That doesn’t stop them participating. Sometimes they switch and the extraverts go quiet (particularly those who don’t dominate when they don’t know the situation).
Being intra or extravert doesn’t mean you have an edge over the other with communication. We make similar mistakes.
How ‘Improv@Work’ utilises improv is help slow your mind down, and help you be present. That is introvert-friendly territory.
You’d be surprised, how much introverts can use improv as much as extroverts. We’re looking out for you.
Does improv expect us to be ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑦 all the time?
No. Constant ‘positive and happy’ energy often is detrimental to a good functioning work environment.
And its not the only path. Other emotions that arise, such as sadness, anger and other raw emotions, can be challenging to manage. With that, you can get a feeling of accomplishment, with can be a fun process to take part in.
Will I have to 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑑 to be someone I am not?
Those who have concerns will be able at any time before and during the session to announce their preferences. If this is a preference of yours, then we will make sure to respect your boundaries.
Will I be 𝑏𝑢𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑑 during the sessions?
No. Refer to our Code of Conduct. whose boundaries hold us to the session. Those who transgresses they boundaries receive a warning. If they continue, they may also be asked to leave, with the results given to their supervisors. But this is an very rare event.
So we meant it when we say this is a psychologically safe zone.
Everyone is doing the same creative exploration as everyone else. So we expect participation from everyone (to whatever level people are comfortable with).
Do I need 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠 experience?
No. ‘Improv@Work’ sessions work with people who have no improv experience, nor the impetus to seek a class out.
So, your experience (likely none) is built into the sessions. If you have improv experience, good on you! You’ll still get a lot out of it.
What's 𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑡 about participating?
- A computer with an Internet connection, video camera, external/internal microphone and headphones. A headset with combined microphone and headphones such as a phone headset works. We don’t recommend you using a mobile phone or tablet, in that you may not be able to see everyone in the session or participate in every activity.
- Stable video conferencing software installed on your computer.
- A room where you make some noise alone with nobody else watching, where you can sit on a chair and stand up at a distance, and without any distractions, other people or pets. Our sessions are a safe place to learn and explore, with only your team mates and the ‘Improv@Work’ facilitator.
- The ability to speak and understand conversational English, although we are researching participation with non-English speakers.
- No use of alcohol or drugs at the session or before, as per work environment rules.
Is an 'Improv@Work' session 𝑒𝑚𝑏𝑎𝑟𝑟𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑔?
No. We start each session creating a safe space to so everyone can feel comfortable thinking on their feet and most importantly safe (for improv can challenge as well as amuse you), and so everyone gets a chance to participate fully and equally.
Will I have to tell jokes or be 𝑓𝑢𝑛𝑛𝑦?/Is improv just 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑑𝑦?
No. A core tenet of improv is about making others in your group feel accepted, and serving each other, and listening and responding in the moment. You can relax knowing that the everyone has each other’s backs. This means egos get time off.
Improv is something we all do everyday.
Our goal is not laughter, performance or comedy, although that is most of what people know about improv. We go beyond that and use the full bredth of improv to explore all results beyond laughs. This doesn’t mean it won’t be fun, only that the sessions are not comedy orientated.
Laughter comes from the journey of the improv session, not its destination.
There is no expectation to be funny. Those who default to joke telling are stopped and asked to stick to the Improv Rules.
I'm no good at 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 play. How would improv work for me?
We all were earlier in our lives, but some had it shut down earlier.
By agreeing to go with what improv is about, you are 33% of the way there. Improv helps get the adult thinking brain out of the picture.
Most do fine and in a good safe improv state, you will do it to the best of your ability and that is acceptable.
Am I expected to 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑚 or do 𝑝𝑢𝑏𝑙𝑖𝑐 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔?
No. Rebootr helps you connect with your colleagues, improve your mood states, help you listen better, and in the end, be more productive.
But, if you’re inspired to learn more about improv as (comedy) performance, we can direct you to others. We are not a performance company.
What if I dont want to play with my 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑔𝑢𝑒𝑠?
If you don’t want to play with them, we will talk with your team leaders about it. Those you play with may or may not be your team.
What if I don't want my team members seeing me being 𝑠𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑦?
Everyone is in the same boat. Everyone gets equal time to dive into the creativity.
Further question: but what if my team mates see it as an opportunity to write down what I say, and then use it against me?
Answer: everyone goes outside of their comfort zone. Improv is a safe zone within and after the session and ‘the silliness’ within the session stays in it.
Will I need to 𝑑𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠 up?
No. ‘Improv@Work’ is a business orientated Program. Stick with whatever you wear to WFH work. Comedy troupes dress up, not us.