This November, our HappyMaven HR Leaders Round Table was unlike any event we’ve held before… actually it was unlike any event we’ve ever attended either.
Like many people trying to stay connected throughout the pandemic, sometimes we’re exhausted by the mere mention of yet another zoom call. This online fatigue, understandable after nine months of remote working, led us to think outside the box for our quarterly HR Leaders event.
After running a poll on the HappyMaven LinkedIn page asking our clients and peers to choose the next topic: either tackle challenging and timely HR issues or, to let us live up to our moniker providing happiness and light relief - the results were overwhelmingly geared towards the latter. So we decided that we would rip up the HR rule book and run an online improv morning, enabling people to rediscover their imagination, practice some creative thinking and release some well-deserved endorphins in the process.
Our lively session was hosted by comedian and creator of Improv for Business UK, Charlie Vero-Martin who specialises in creating live environments where people can embrace their spontaneous flair with creative thinking, teamwork and a dash of silliness. Charlie expertly coached our cohort of HR Leaders from bleary-eyed to bushy-tailed within the space of 45 minutes, demonstrating the power of creativity and innovation when it comes to collaboration and communication within a team.
The Power Of Improvisation
The power of improvisation isn’t limited to the stage of comedy clubs, we experienced how the principles of improv help us to develop better active listening skills to become more authentic and effective communicators. When navigating complex situations with employees or customers, these quick-thinking skills are invaluable.
This year has taught us that no matter how foolproof a plan of action is, there is always a curveball to navigate. Being rigid against change can limit potential, improv demonstrates how being flexible to surroundings and collaborators can help to embrace unexpected changes, often resulting in the most creative ideas being born.
Charlie created an atmosphere of openness and camaraderie
Comedy is a great equaliser, often transcending the audiences demographic, creating bonds through shared experience. Improv is all about creating a unique shared experience. In the session, when “audience participation” was required there was an imperceptible collective groan from the smiling grid of faces. However, Charlie created an atmosphere of openness and camaraderie, and within minutes, the attendees had grown in confidence in order to present spoof TED Talks and command the virtual stage in front of an audience of respected peers.
That experience was totally unique to the attendees and I am sure many will reflect back on and share with friends and colleagues for weeks to come… how many people can say that about an online HR Webinar!?
Remember; laughter truly is the best medicine. Laughter releases feel-good chemicals, endorphins and also serotonin, which is said to share properties with antidepressants. Laughter is also proved to lessen the body’s stress response, both physically and mentally. What’s not to love and embrace about that?
At HappyMaven, we put happiness front and centre of everything we do, and we believe that in the final weeks of such a challenging year, our job is to share happiness and create moments of enjoyment and empowerment through our online workshops, talks and events. Book your free 30-minute consultation to get started.
Read more from Charlie Vero-Martin about how to Boost your Mood with Improv and we hope that the concepts of improv and creating unique moments that we have learned from Charlie will help to shape new ways of thinking and how to approach situations creatively in the future.