by Emily Langner
On episode 19 of the Build Better podcast, Anastasia welcomed Rob DiNinni, founding member of StageCoach Improv, a unique company specializing in team building and corporate skills training for individuals and organizations. DiNinni and his team use improvisation to teach key corporate competencies in the areas of communication, leadership, sales, presentation, and conflict management.
Currently, one of the biggest challenges teams and organizations face is being able to connect. The constant bombardment of computer screens and phones have created a disconnect among co-workers. In addition, an individualistic mindset often found within companies can get in the way of bringing people together and encouraging collaboration. DiNinni and his team help leaders and sales professionals understand and cultivate emotional intelligence, which helps develop empathy, creating that much-needed connection.
DiNinni focuses on seven improv principals when working with leaders, which include saying “yes…and…because,” being agile and able to adapt, enabling empathy through vulnerability, inspiring creativity through curiosity, empowering ensemble collaboration, revealing authentic storytelling, and listening intently to focus on what is being said behind the words.
By using the principals of improvisation, leaders can better develop emotional intelligence and the practice of empathy. DiNinni says that when leaders really listen and respond to members of their organization, people are better able to work together and are able to celebrate victories as a team. Creating a spirit of inclusiveness and collaboration, rather than of competition, benefits the team and the company as a whole.
DiNinni encourages leaders to “find comfort in silence in the workplace” by listening more, and advises “checking your ego at the door,” which shows vulnerability and flexibility. Additionally, working to lessen or eliminate competition within an organization fosters an “all in this together” environment where people feel heard and valued.
DiNinni says, “If we all connect and collaborate, we lift everyone up.” By listening and saying “yes,” rather than focusing on their own agenda, leaders and sales professionals can inspire creativity, leading to overall success. Of StageCoach Improv, he says, “We’re coming in, in a lot of ways as therapists, as coaches, helping people reconnect with each other, create that love and that family, so they trust and respect each other, so they can solve problems together and create together and collaborate together.”
By building connections through humor and focusing on soft skills, teams can cultivate relationships, empower collaboration, and exceed desired outcomes in the workplace.
To learn more about DiNinni and StageCoach Improv, visit stagecoachimprov.com.