Retirement Weekly: What financial advisers could learn from comedians — no, this isn’t a joke

Have you ever seen a performance by one of The Second City improvisation troupes or watched episodes of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Did you take notes?

Chances are, you were too busy laughing and admiring the improvisational prowess of the performers to consider how their ad-libbing antics could possibly relate to your own business. Improvisation has been used in art, music, and acting for centuries and is widely known as a form of comedy. In more recent years, though, the tenets of the improvisational mind-set have been adapted for a variety of uses, such as business negotiations, sales, management, scientific research methodology, and caregiving.

Why are universities, medical residency programs, and major corporations embracing the improvisational mind-set? It has nothing to do with learning to be funny. Instead, the “rules” of improv provide useful, relatable tools that professionals in any industry can leverage to enhance their interpersonal skills and help grow their practice.

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