1259 – Improv in the Workplace with Christner Strategies’ Jenny Christner

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge talks to the CEO of Christner Strategies, Jenny Christner.

Josh and Jenny discuss improv’s ability to impact strategy. Jenny discusses her history in theater after medical school and how after taking an improv class she fell in love with it. Jenny shares how she uses improv every day in both personal life and business. She discusses the science behind improv and how it appealed to the scientific side of her and how it opened a window of hobby. She expresses how she learned these tools and how when these improv tools are applied, it can also help people within their workplace. In learning the rules of improv, Jenny was able to make sense of them and apply them to all aspects of life.

Jenny also serves as the dean at the College of Medicine at Baylor. Josh asks how improv has been used professionally as well as within the education space. Jenny shares that the more you dive into leadership, more than anything, it’s really about personal relationships. She emphasizes that a key piece of improv is you have to listen very carefully and that when we converse with others in the workplace, listening is crucial. Often we get lost in our own thoughts and responses and improv tools give great lessons on using strong listening skills to accomplish set goals. Listening allows for better collaboration and stronger relationship building.

Josh shares his own transformative experience in exploring improv classes and how it has helped him to be more real, more authentic, and a more present leader. He also shares how it has helped him feel better about himself in social situations, with less second guessing on what to speak. Josh and Jenny discuss the impact of implementing improv skills to team members within an organization and how the safety improv ideals of communication provided in expressiveness can foster improvments within a team. They discuss the improv tool of “yes and” versus “yes, but” and how responding with an ‘and’ instead of a ‘but’ keeps communication flowing and open within teams. This can allow a team to work together more effectively. “Yes and” allows the concept that there’s no mistakes, and it’s open to take in every person's input within a safe environment where everyone has a voice. Jenny expresses the impact that this form of collaboration can have within a team to create and establish a common theme.

Want to learn more? Check out Christner Strategies’ website at

Check out Christner Strategie on LinkedIn at

Check out Jenny Christner on LinkedIn at

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