*[Newsletter Series (#3)]
Since the beginning of time, human beings have relied on tribal connection, and it comes under lots of different labels: community, relationship, team, partnership. The reasons for this are many, and they’ve changed as we’ve evolved - gathering first for sheer safety and to procreate, then to form families and culture, share ideas, earn and build
Through the ages, one thing is clear: our most critical shared need is interdependence. We literally depend on one another to thrive. We’re in this together, forging ahead.
Now, I realize I’m not giving you new information here, but in the interest of exploring aliveness through improv, interdependence is a principle worth much discussion. So here goes.
In improv, there most certainly can be a one-person scene (or even full length solo show), but most often there are two or more characters performing together on stage. The story unfolds as a collaboration of efforts between the actors, giving and receiving offers to build character, objective, relationship and environment. They are co-creating a performance, totally dependent on one another to entertain their audience.
Isn’t it the same in life and business? Don’t we need each other for support or to ideate around a new product/service; to share our work, ask for advice, join forces to conquer our workload? We are not designed to go it alone, crossing our fingers and toes we’re making the right decisions.
And yet, we do it all the time. We assume everyone else has it figured out - that they’re more experienced, smarter, more capable, braver, wiser, older/younger than we are. So we retreat to work alone, even when we’re surrounded by people who’d love to help us out.
Is this sounding familiar? (Can I get a “Yes...and”?)
Improvisers relentlessly work to let go of second guessing. They also drop their own agenda in lieu of what their partner offers and what’s needed in the scene. In essence, they give up their own self doubt and control needs for the sake of the story they share with their fellow players. There’s even a golden rule improvisers live by, to ensure connectedness and shared control that I love. It is: make your partner look good. How amazing is that! By making your partner on stage “look good” (shine, get the laughs, be portrayed as smart/witty/right), the scene is fast tracked for success.
Can’t we all use a little more time away from our fear and ego to make each other look good and connect?
Practicing interdependence can take many shapes, but here are a few I came up with.
Ask for help
Reach out for advice
Create an “accountability” circle with people we trust to share our work/ideas
Admit we don’t know
Orchestrate meet-ups just for the sake of...meeting up, being together, coexisting!
Check in with colleagues, family, community members so they know we’re here
Any other ideas to add or stories to share about interdependence and aliveness? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.
We’re in this together, guys, and I’m grateful for that. Take care of you and yours and get ready to explore the principle of Vulnerability next week.
So much gratitude to all of you life players. Here’s to thriving unscripted!