The Improv of Life and Business 

Do you have a team of trusted partners who are feeding you the lines that you can build on or are they trying to trip you up to laugh at you rather than with you? 
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The team from Peeplcoach standing in front of a graffiti wall.

In preparation for this year’s annual strategic planning day, the Peeplcoach team attended a half day workshop to put us into a more creative mindset. 

We wanted a team building activity that would help bring us together as a team. We wanted an activity that would meet some key selection criteria. An activity that: 

  1. we could all do. 
  2. would create a level playing field across the entire team, where no individual would go in with an advantage or disadvantage
  3. would push us out of our comfort zones. 
  4. helped us to think differently. 

As we walked into the room there definitely was some hesitation. Frowning faces and crossed arms and I might even have heard a murmur of, ‘Oh this is not my thing.’  We were doing an improv session! 

Despite the caution, by the end of the session, we ALL loved it, and we also learned a bit about ourselves as well as learning about us as a team and a business. 

Now, the rules of improv are simple. 

  1. If the scenes make people laugh the teams wins – there are no individual winners or champions in improv. 
  2. Every word in improv is important. The smaller connecting words, such as ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘the’, are just as important as the one liner that gets the laugh. Because, without connecting words the funny words don’t make sense.
  3. Improv only works when everyone/your partner has your back and you have theirs. 
  4. Improv only works if your partner is feeding you the lines that you can build on. It does not work if your partner is hogging the best lines and words for themselves or even worse, feeding you lines that are difficult to build on. 
  5. Improv is a team sport! With a team you are just a one person show. 
  6. Failure is going to happen. Celebrate it, forgive yourself, forgive others and move on.
  7. You never know what you are going to get. In the end it isn’t about the word, it’s about what you do with that word.
  8. Don’t be too fixated on outcomes and having a rigid plan. This can stifle improv because when the word you didn’t plan for comes along, then you freeze. 
  9. Be present and really listen to your partner. Pay attention to your environment and work with that whilst being aware of the longer-term goal. 
  10. Have fun and keep the scenes short. 

I loved the rules of improv, and really believe that they are rules that could be followed for your business, your team, your life.  

As you think about how your life, business and team are going, are you following the 10 rules of improv? If not, what can you do about it?  

Do you have a team of trusted partners who are feeding you the lines that you can build on or are they trying to trip you up to laugh at you rather than with you?  

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James Chisholm

My name is James and I am Head of Customer Partnerships, Co-founder and a Coach at Peeplcoach. I bring over 25 years business leadership experience performing roles in executive general management, board directorship, business development and operational leadership. My career has covered multiple industries including building technology services, asset management, renewable energy and not-for-profit with large multi-national corporations, private companies and SMEs including Honeywell, Plenary Group and The Hunger Project.

With extensive local and international experience, I have led teams of many shapes and sizes, including teams of thousands of employees across varied countries and cultures. I enjoy working with diverse groups of people to achieve outcomes with a sense of purpose and alignment to my personal values.

My qualifications include BA (Politics and Psychology) from Sydney University, Master of Commerce from University of NSW, Advanced Coaching Intensive program from Columbia University (USA) and the Company Directors Course (AICD).

James.Chisholm@peeplcoach.com

Feel free to book a time to chat to be here https://calendly.com/james-chisholm/find-out-more-about-peeplcoach-1″

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My name is Christine and I am the CEO, Founder and Lead Coach at Peeplcoach. Over the last 25 years, I have had a very varied career across marketing, recruitment, business start-up, branding and executive coaching working for both large and small organisations.

I’ve worked for global organisations such as Simplot Australia, Kraft Foods (now Mondelez) and Hallmark Cards. I have successfully founded two businesses and have worked with hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals to build successful careers, teams and businesses.

My qualifications include BA (Major in Criminology and Psychology), MBA, Post-Graduate in Policy Studies and Post Graduate Diploma in Organisational Change and Executive Coaching. I have also been recognised as a Telstra Businesswomen finalist, a Chief Executive Women winner and danced on a bar with Richard Branson.

In all my roles, my passion has been to assist and enable individuals to find value and fulfilment in their work and to support organisations for sustainable growth. I believe in being courageous, challenging ourselves for growth, equality and fairness and laughing every day. Simply, I want to help people find what they love to do and organisations to be successful.

Chris@peeplcoach.com

Feel free to book a time to chat to here https://calendly.com/christine-khor-peeplcoach/find-out-more-about-peeplcoach-1

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My name is Zana and I am both a Master Coach and Head of Coaches for Peeplcoach. My role is to recruit, grow, develop, lead and inspire a team of passionate and talented coaches to ensure we achieve our mission to make coaching accessible to all!

I now lead a team of coaches who are supporting emerging and developing leaders across Australia, New Zealand, US, UK, Singapore and India.

With 25+ years’ experience across continents in the people development and leadership space, I’m known for driving people-led organisational change and embedding positive cultures. I do this through a consultative coaching approach and facilitating programs that ignite new ways. I’ve led teams and worked with all levels of leadership in various industries, including GE, Coles, ADP, Consumer Affairs and Ambulance Victoria. Some of my clients include Asahi, Dulux, Inghams, Latrobe City Council and Bega to name a few.

I am a qualified executive coach holding a Post Graduate Certificate Organisational Coaching and I am a practitioner and facilitator in DISC, LSI, GSI, NLP, MBTI, Change Acceleration Process (PCI)

As a leader and coach, I explore hidden challenges, then empower individuals to find solutions that inspire action. I believe in putting people first to build capability, create high performing teams and positive sustainable change that drives business results.

zana@peeplcoach.com

Feel free to book a time to chat to be here https://calendly.com/zanaballantyne/find-out-more-about-peeplcoach-1

Jo Hart

My name is Jo Hart and I am the Operations and Administration Manager at Peeplcoach and my role is to continually optimise the systems and processes that drive the delivery of accessible, high-quality coaching.

Over the last 23 years, I have had a varied career in roles including, finance, operations, project management, optimisation, learning and development and leading project teams. During this time I have worked locally and internationally to help organisations to succeed efficiently and effectively. I have worked across financial services, health services, information technology, insurance, media, and retail industries for organisations such as Deutsche Bank, Adecco Group and Australian Association of Social Workers.

I love a challenge and playing my role in the team to deliver development opportunities in a way that maximises engagement and creates opportunities for people and organisations to be at their best.

Email: jo.hart@peeplcoach.com

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My name is Richard and am the Sales Manager here at Peeplcoach with over 10+ solution sales experience across leadership development & coaching, recruitment and SaaS technologies within the IT & Digital space.

I have worked across both global corporate, fast growth and start-up environments which include companies such as Oracle, Seek and Elmo Software primarily focusing on driving new business in the B2B space and have had the pleasure to work with some of Australia’s most well-known organisations including Fortescue Metals Group, Multiplex, Commonwealth Bank, Arup and Austrade to name few.

In all my roles, my passion has been able to solve challenges to both individuals and organisations and help people be the best they can be. Simply put, I want to help organisations to be successful and to help people to reach their full potential to find what they love to do.

In addition to my industry experience I hold a Bachelor Business Degree from Griffith University (QLD) majoring in sports management.

You can find me on LinkedIn here

Michael Rainey

My name is Michael and I am the Projects Manager at Peeplcoach and my role is to make sure that everything happens seamlessly, from launching new coachees to our platforms, onboarding new Peeplcoach coaches or launching new content.

Over the last 25 years, I have had a varied career in roles including, finance, human resources, training, learning and organisational development. I’ve worked for a number of incredible organisations such as CBA, Mercedes-Benz, Lumo Energy, Yarra Valley Water and Bendigo Kangan Institute of TAFE.

I have qualifications in – Bachelor of Education & Training, Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours), Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management and Graduate Diploma in Psychological Studies.

My guiding compass has been to develop and enable others by giving them the tools they need so they can be the best they can be, while contributing to the organisation’s goals.

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