And… Action!


En… Actie!Yesterday I went to a workshop on using improv’ theater techniques for coaching at “The Hub Brussels“. Some years ago, I had attended some ‘matches’ of the ‘Improvisation League’. It was a lot of fun. Those actors were really creative and had the quick wits to deal with the difficult situations they were put in by the game master and their ‘opponents’. But what does acting have to do with coaching?

The workshop was led by Cyriel Kortleven, one of the authors of “En… Actie!“. The book explains why, how and when you can use these techniques when you work with groups. The meat of the book consists of technique descriptions, divided into three settings:

  • Generic meetings, getting to know the other participants and creating a safe environment
  • Improving improvisation skills, increasing trust, letting go of familiar patterns, becoming aware of body language and accepting new ideas and change
  • Stimulating creativity, definining the problem, generating ideas, converging from ideas to solutions

The format of the book is very practical: each technique is preceded by a summary of its goal, duration and max. number of participants, followed by the description and implementation tips. It’s easy to find a suitable technique quickly.

Cyriel introduced several techniques by first letting us perform the exercise and then explaining the technique. Cyriel’s energetic and humourous coaching style quickly got a bunch of strangers moving, acting and laughing.

Another set of useful tools to add to my toolbox. Several techniques are useful for conference sessions.

Unfortunately, the book is only available in Dutch for now. But an English version may appear in the future.

I met people from all walks of life, all with an interest in change and innovation. That’s what “The Hub” is about.

More about creativity later.