One Word Suggestion: Teamwork

Get what you want, not by trying to be bossy, funny or cool, but by doing what's necessary to make your whole group look good instead of just worrying about yourself.

Welcome to One Word Suggestion

Hosted by: Eran Thomson
This week's word is: Teamwork

Learn more:

LMA Professional Development
Improv Training for Business Success - Serving Australia and Asia Pac.

Laugh-Masters Academy
Australia's Home of Improv and Sketch Comedy

Thanks for checking out the show notes.

This podcast is intentionally short and sweet, so don't expect too much from the notes. We will, of course, share links and details of things discussed in individual episodes as appropriate - and that's about it.

The main thing to know is every episode of this show starts with a one word suggestion, and there's no reason it shouldn't come from you.

As long as its not "dildo."

So give us your best, and in the meantime, thanks for listening.

Ensemble Philosophy - Ep. 7

There’s an exercise we run in some of our workshops called "One Word Story." The object of the exercise is, as you can probably guess, for people to stand in line and tell a story together one word at a time. It doesn't have to be a good or funny story, but it does have to make sense.

It sounds deceptively easy, and it can be if everyone is listening actively, speaking clearly, and working together. Part of the trick is for people to understand that sometimes they may need to say a boring word like “the” or “and.” These connecting words may not influence the plot of the story being told, but they are crucial to the story being told well.

In one group we had a CEO who really wanted to win the adulation and respect of his staff and to be seen as a funny and cool guy. So every time it was his turn to say a word he would say "bananas” and ruin the story.

He thought he was being hilarious but his team were getting more and more frustrated. Especially since the Facilitator kept asking them to start over and Mr CEO kept on saying “bananas.”

Finally, after several false starts, the CEO said the word that was most needed to make the most sense, and make the story work - and everyone cheered and high-fived in celebration.

He got what he was looking for, not by trying to be funny, but by doing what was necessary to tell a great story and make the whole group look good instead of just worrying about himself.

In every situation, whether it’s getting a product to market on time, delivering a campaign, meeting a client deadline, or telling the story of Sammy the Shark, it takes teamwork. And teamwork gets easier when everyone is operating with an ensemble mindset.

(For more on the ensemble philosophy check out
episode seven.)

Improved collaboration and communication start when everyone understands that the shared wins are more important, and usually more fun. And that by making the people around you look good, you look good.

This unique approach to teamwork is a huge part of what we teach at LMA - and it's powerful with huge potential for positive change inside an organisation.

And if you’re thinking “yeah yeah, but I’ve got some real challenging characters at my work,” then I encourage you to drag them to an improv class or book a corporate workshop for your team. Then wait and see how things improve.

I promise you the results will be bananas - but in a good way.

The ideas, observations, and perspectives shared here are mine alone. 
I’d love to hear yours in the comments, or better yet in a review.

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