The Most Interesting Person in the World

Conflict Resolution Through Improv

Posted on: September 26, 2010

Improv is a great way to get members of a group to leave behind their conflict mindset. That is because improv forces one into a mindset of support, of making your scene partner(s) right, and making it your job to justify how what they’re saying makes sense. Start by playing a scene where each line begins with “Yes, and.” This teaches a group about accepting each other’s ideas and building on them. Applying these skills to a real-life conflict, that means at the very least treating someone with respect, acknowledging the possibility that they might be right, and, at the most, supporting and adding to what they say. Try turning every “but” that comes out of your mouth into an “and.”

Other exercises that build on this skill are games in justification. For example, two players act out a scene, and every other line must be pulled from a hat. Now you must justify why what you or your partner just said makes sense! It’s hard to fight with a person when your mind is saying, “No matter how crazy this is, I have to be on your side in order to make this work.”


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