Emotional Intelligence Quote

How Emotionally Intelligent Are You?

Spring is the season of growth and there’s no better way to grow personally and professionally than to increase your emotional intelligence (also known as your EQ).

Last month, Allison was invited to participate in a weekly “Coach Chat” session moderated by Carolyn Bergman, Senior Director of Alumni Career Services at Emory University. Nearly 150 alumni signed up to attend “Enhance Your EQ with the Skills of Improv”. Here’s what you missed.

First, Allison defined EQ and explained how it fits into personal and professional development. Next, the group reviewed the core competencies of EQ — self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. To wrap up the session, they reviewed strategies for increasing your emotional intelligence with improv skills and other techniques.

The best part of the webinar was the audience questions! Below is a snapshot of our 5 favorite Q&A moments.

5 FAVE QUESTIONS

1. What are the challenges in using EQ in the workplace?
Remembering to utilize. Part of self-awareness is to be present. So just thinking about self-awareness makes us more aware! However, you must also remember to be aware of what is happening around you and what is happening with others.
2. How do I enhance the EQ of my employees?
Expose them to the concept.  Introduce it to your team or colleagues through discussion, books, training, self-assessments and workshops. We can help with that.
3. How do I amplify my boss’s initiatives without looking like I’m kissing up?
Don’t just say “yes” to their ideas and leave it at that. Say “yes, and.” Take action on their ideas and build upon them.
4. How do I read my senior management team’s EQ?
The best way to read EQ is by observation, listening and being attuned to any of their emotional triggers and behavior. Notice how they respond in crises. That’s a key indicator.
5. How do I “observe myself” in the moment?
Remember to step back and allow sensory input to reach the rational part of your brain. Catch yourself in that moment when you are experiencing a certain emotion and ask, “why or what triggered that?”. Often we have a physical reaction to a certain emotion first – so be attuned to your own body and what it may be telling you about your emotional experience.

If you’d like to bring this Emotional Intelligence webinar to your group, email Allison at allison@dumoreimprov.com to set up a session. It’s great spring training for your team!

Well said, Chewbacca. A man(?) of few words with a high EQ.

Chewbacca quote

Give Us a Hug

Let’s gamestorm! Who’s in?

We’re so excited you’re here — we have big news! DuMore Improv is welcoming a fresh face to our team and announcing a brand new workshop. Bring it in, y’all.

First, we’d like to introduce you to our new facilitator, Jim Karwisch — check out his smiling mug at the bottom of this email. He’s a good friend, experienced improviser and amazing coach. Jim started improvising in 1991 and has been teaching improv since 2001. He worked for 13 years at a Fortune 500 financial institution, most recently as a Communications and Innovation specialist. Now he works full time as a coach and facilitator in Atlanta, GA and the Southeast. And we are super lucky to have him join our team because he’s brought us this…

Gamestorming! Whether you’ve worked with us before or are new to improv training, you’ll enjoy this eye-opening curriculum. Gamestorming with DuMore Improv lets your team examine challenges more deeply, explore new ideas, perform experiments and test hypotheses. Together we’ll generate surprising insights and results while infusing your team with energy and fun.

Here’s the magic. Gamestorming exercises help participants ditch the idea of “always doing things the same way” and learn new rules for interaction. Activities include questioning, structuring large diagrams, sketching ideas, fusing words and pictures together, and improvising — all designed to tackle a specific challenge and walk away with strategies to solve it.

We love talking about gamestorming (and Jim!) so drop a note to allison@dumoreimprov.com to learn more & find time for us to introduce this problem solving approach your team.

Let’s do this,
Allison & Elizabeth

Jim Karwisch

Meet Jim. Coming soon to a workshop near you.

guy jumping off cliff

Say yes to something that scares you

Let’s take the leap into 2015 together! This year we hope to make our monthly emails more helpful by sharing rock-solid, real-life examples of how you can use improv skills at work and at home. And we hope you’ll share your experiences with us, too!

This month, we challenge you to say YES to something that scares you. Something that makes your heart beat fast and gives you butterflies in your stomach. A feat that feels like jumping off a cliff.

Last week, Elizabeth did something that’s been scaring her for 5+ years. She tried open mic improv poetry. Yes, it’s as scary as it sounds. Putting your name in a hat. Standing at a microphone in front of strangers. Asking for a topic. And blurting out a poem that you make up as you go. It was terrifying. And it was awesome. Like jumping into the deep end of the pool and making it to the side safely. Whew!

Doing something scary makes you feel alive. So try it this month. It can be as bold as sky diving or asking your boss for a raise. Or as simple as sending your dinner back to the kitchen because your steak wasn’t cooked right. It doesn’t matter what it is. As long as it makes you breathe a little faster and feel a whoosh of relief when it’s over.

Then contact us and let us know what you did that scared you, and how it felt. Or post a note on our Facebook page. Or tweet it @dumoreimprov. We don’t care. Just share the scare.

Be brave,
Allison & Elizabeth

Find Your Greatness

Hmmmmm. Is this what they mean by saying “yes, and”?

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

6 Holiday Survival Tips from DuMore Improv

Merry Whatever! Awkward office parties, tense family festivities and the same list of New Year’s resolutions you’ve made for the last 10 years can make even the perkiest elf feel a little Grinchy. Save your holiday season with 6 improv survival techniques from the DuMore Improv gang.

DO say “yes, and” to unexpected holiday invitations.
DON’T feel obligated to attend your creepy co-worker’s “Pantsless Elf” party.

DO listen carefully to family & friends for clues about what they want for Christmas.
DON’T believe them when they say they don’t want anything. They do.

DO practice your presentation skills on Christmas morning.
DON’T bore your family with a PowerPoint presentation explaining your shopping strategy and expected ROI.

DON’T shut down new ideas for grandma’s gift this year.
DO steer the conversation in a new direction if it involves a trip to Victoria’s Secret.

DO clearly communicate your holiday wish list to your family & friends.
DON’T title your list “Stuff That’s Better Than the Junk You Usually Give Me”.

DO make good offers by donating to your favorite charities.
DON’T give money to a guy dressed as an elf with no pants. Even if he invites you to his party.

May your holiday season be merry and bright. And filled with improvised cheer!

SEE YOU IN THE NEW YEAR!
Allison & Elizabeth

Awkward Santa photo

The one time it’s okay to say “no, but”.

Cat Stevens costume

It’s time for a trick & a treat…

It’s that magical time of year when you’re forced to pull together the most-amazing-costume-ever at 9:23pm the night before Halloween. So we thought we’d help out this year with a Trick AND a Treat.

Here’s your trick. 4 simple steps for improvising a last-minute Halloween costume.

1) Hit the 24-hour grocery for black eyeliner, a headband and black construction paper.

2) Make cat ears with the headband and construction paper.

3) Draw whiskers on your face with eyeliner.

4) Brainstorm your favorite CAT word and add appropriate props. Grab the dictionary for some help. Think catatonic, catastrophe, catalytic converter, catalyst, cat litter and so on. Or just pick up your guitar & go as folk musician Cat Stevens! (see picture at top)

Now, here’s a treat. We compiled our survey results from last month and wanted to share the highlights — so you can see what’s on your colleagues’ minds these days.

Hot business topics that keep us up at night:

  • Disruption + new, smaller vendors upsetting the market
  • Using the Cloud for collaboration
  • Leadership, conflict and accountability

Newsletters & blogs we’re reading every week:

Favorite DuMore Improv workshops:

  • Storytelling for Business
  • Fearless Presentation Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence and Improv EQ

Get to work on your amazing cat costume. Then post your costume photos on our Facebook page to let us all know how it turned out. Meow!

STAY SCARY,
Allison & Elizabeth

Grumpy Cat costume

Don’t forget the classic Grumpy Cat costume.

August Sunday Summer

What I Like About August Is…

What I like about August is… savoring the last days of summer amidst the buzz of back-to-school time. August is all about making the most of the moment, while looking forward to learning new things.

So we thought now is the perfect time to teach you a new trick to help you embrace the end of summer. It’s one of our favorite improv games called “What I Like About That Is…”

Here’s how you play:

  1. Engage in conversation with someone. Anyone. Your friend, your kid, your co-worker, your coffee barista. Whoever is around.
  2. No matter what the other person says, start your reply with “what I like about that is…”
  3. Say (or just think to yourself) “what I like about that is…” every time you speak and see where the conversation takes you. Notice if the other person smiles and nods a bit more.
Here’s how it works:
  • Knowing that you are going to reply with “what I like about that is…” forces you to listen with a positive ear. So you turn off your hyper critical mind and only hear the good stuff.
  • When your conversation partner discovers that you like what they’re saying, you’ll connect and build an alliance. It feels good to have someone like your idea.
  • Instead of “what I like about that is…”, you can say other things like:
    • What I respect about that is…
    • What I appreciate that is…
    • What’s cool about that is…

Now go find out what you like about things! Drop us an email or say hello on Facebook to let us know how it’s going.

Forward this improv game to a friend, so they can learn to listen with a positive ear!

ENJOY AUGUST!
Allison & Elizabeth

Um, when does the pool close?

French Bulldog Pool

improv workshop charleston

The Million Dollar Improv Question

Summer’s officially here and it’s the perfect time to plan a team building event for your group. Curious how to convince your boss or leadership team that it’s a good idea? Send them these articles that prove it!

How to Think Better, Faster on Your Feet CNN.com

Can Executives Learn to Ignore the Script? The New York Times

Yes, And Improv Techniques to Make You a Better Boss Fast Company

Forget PowerPoint: Improv is the New (Old) Way to Sell Huffington Post

Need more help? We’re happy to hop on a call or set up a face-to-face to help you tell your story. And if all else fails, improvise!

P.S. Join us on Facebook for the Summer of Improv. New improv challenges every week!

CHEERS!
Allison & Elizabeth

Now, wait a minute. Was today the office improv off-site?

empty_office

3 cool things you’ve gotta do this month

Do you have a raging case of March Madness, Spring Fever or the Irish Flu (aka St. Patrick’s Day)? Here at DuMore Improv HQ we found 3 more things to get excited about this month. Add these items to the top of your to-do list for March.

1. Check out our new web site! The freshly refreshed DuMore Improv website now features workshop descriptions, pricing details and more. Be sure to share it with your friends and colleagues.

2. Register for the Southeast’s Interactive FestivalDIG South –  taking place April 9-13 in Charleston, SC. DuMore Improv is presenting our “So, What’s Your Story?” workshop about the art of storytelling for business. And we’re going to have a rockin’ refreshment booth in the concourse, a giant wall of innovation and new interactive activities every 30 minutes. Intrigued? We are too! If you are in the area, come hang out with us.

3. Book your fall workshops now! Our fall calendar is already filling up with higher ed orientation workshops and team building sessions. If you are considering a back-to-school or post-summer session, we’d love to get you on our schedule as soon as possible. Call or email us to discuss workshop topics and dates.

Okay, all done? Now you can go work on your NCAA bracket. AND, if you email us your pick for the #1 NCAA Championship winning team, anyone who gets it right will win a DuMore Improv March Madness prize pack! Just send us your name, mailing address & prediction for the final championship winning team.

HAPPY MARCH MADNESS!

Cheers, Allison & Elizabeth

Elizabeth & Allison working on their free throws!

Allison_Elizabeth_Basketball

Let’s talk great partnerships, Valentine’s Day and cute kittens

Okay, we usually don’t get all crazy for kittens, but since it’s Valentine’s Day weekend and we’ve been thinking about partnerships – we couldn’t resist. Repeat after me. Awwwwwwwww. We thought this would be a great time to celebrate partners of all kinds. We’ve been working with some amazing business buddies over the past few months and we want to show them some love with a little shout out.

Candid Partners – Stacy Brees, Merrick Olives and the entire super smart crew at Candid Partners knows how to get it done. Not only are they great at management and technology consulting, but they totally understand how incorporating emotional intelligence and improv skills training with DuMore Improv helps set the stage for their client’s success. If you need a problem-solving partner, you will love these guys and gals.

Laura Camacho & Jocelyn Ring – There’s nothing more fun than partnering with other savvy women to help businesses improve the way they develop and communicate strategies. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Laura of the Mixonian Institute and Jocelyn of The Ring Effect to create a new workshop called Message & Mindset: The Building Blocks of Proactive Communication. This session combines all of our superpowers. Improv + Communication Skills + Strategy Visualization = KAPOW! Let us know if you are interested in learning more about this special offering.

DIG South – We’ve had a huge crush on the folks at DIG South since we first met them last April at the Southeast’s most awesome Interactive Festival ever. We’re partnering with them again this year to craft a crazy interactive improv presentation, a totally rad refreshment booth and who knows what else. Hats off to them for always listening to our wild ideas and saying “yes, and!”

Drop us a line (or a Valentine) if you’d like to partner with us in 2014. Simply reply to this email and we’ll get something started.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY
Cheers, Allison & Elizabeth

We heart dogs, too!
One more time. Awwwwwwwww.

dog_partners

Emotional Intelligence

3 Easy Ways to Raise your EQ in 2014

Are you still looking for the perfect New Year’s Resolution? Try raising your EQ! No gym membership or exercise required. Just 3 easy steps to improve your emotional intelligence and up your Emotional Quotient. And if you’re wondering “what the heck is EQ?”, here’s a quick primer. According to Harvard theorist Howard Gardner, “Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them.” These abilities can be enhanced through improv training and by applying these 3 tips to your daily life and work.

1) Listening & Observing – The next time you have a conversation with someone, listen closely to what they are saying and watch their nonverbal body language. The more you do this, the better you’ll get at understanding other people’s emotions.

2) Know Your Triggers – Pay attention to situations that cause you to have a certain stress emotion. Just being self-aware of these triggers will help you manage your own emotions at work or home.

3) Watch Your Self-Talk – How many negative words do you say to yourself each day? Replace those with positive words and you’ll see a big shift in your attitude and emotional state.

Did you know that people with high EQs make better managers? Give this Fast Company article a quick read to find out how emotionally intelligent your boss is. And pick up a few tips on how you can improve your own management skills.

Improv your EQ with DuMore Improv! Allison is heading to California this week to teach Improv & Emotional Intelligence at UC Berkeley. If you think your team could use an EQ boost, contact us to book a session for your group. It’s a great way to get in the right frame of mind for 2014.

P.S. The Muppets are pros at Emotional Intelligence.

muppets_emotions