Improvisation in Leadership Education: “Making Interactions with Others More Positive and Meaningful”

The Online Journal of New Horizons in Education
April 1, 2020
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Improvisation is synonymous with unplanned performances. Paradoxically, successfully engaging in improvisation involves structured underlying techniques. These structured elements have transferable applications to leadership and organizational development. The purpose of this research project is to explore students’ experiences engaging in improvisation during a weeklong graduate course. We employed a basic interpretive qualitative approach to examine learners’ perceptions around the applications of improvisation tenets and strategies to their professional lives. Results from this study highlighted that the use of the improvisational tenet yes, and motivated participants moving beyond a personal agenda to promote collaboration. Improvisation also facilitated the assessment and mindful adjustment of energy to inspire authentic engagement with others to build trust. Additionally, learners embraced spontaneity to hone their ability to adapt and react in time to change.