We’ve been struggling with communication and collaboration in healthcare forever. One reason for this is that speaking up requires taking on more power and listening requires sharing it. These skills also interface with our ability to lead and follow and switch between each role seamlessly. To clearly and confidently direct an order while in the very same moment staying open to and inviting input from all stakeholders is a dance!Communication is a dance involving complex human behaviors. It requires practice! Click To Tweet
What’s more, developing these skills can feel emotionally risky. But, our high-stress, high-stakes work, blaming or bullying cultures, and pervasive toxic hierarchies are not conducive to taking emotional risks!
As I discuss in my train-the-trainer book on Medical Improv, experiential activities from theatre improv can be incredibly helpful in promoting the skills and relationships that we need to provide safe, cost-effective care and sustain rewarding careers.
In “Gibberish Talk Show Host” adapted from Kate Koppet’s Training to Imagine, there is an interdependence of three people as they impact each others’ roles in the creating a “scene”. This activity is great for demonstrating how everyone plays an important role in outcomes or if you are trying to break down silos between departments or shifts.
Here students at Portsmouth Improv Learning Lab, and Anita Remig (Talk Show Host), Dwyer Vessey (Translator), and Mary Ellen McElroy (Gibberish Expert) give us a wonderful example of spontaneous and collaborative interdependence as they take on a topic suggested by their peers.-Horse-riding!
What kind of discussion points could you envision after playing “Gibberish Talk Show Host” with your team?