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And I know improv has a lot to say about this notion of offers and opportunities. But if you loosen the restrictions that you put on yourself, interesting things can happen. And our mentor, Patricia Ryan Madson, who wrote this great book, Improv Wisdom, when I told her that story, she said, “No, no, no. Yeah, right. I need to be okay enough, comfortable enough being uncomfortable, that I can plug in. Silicon Valley. And they were handling hecklers, like that was the culture of that environment. It’s about having that open mindset, being present, listening, relying on structure, trusting in yourself. And I know in your experience and in a lot of the improvisation that you bring to the work you do, letting go of the getting it right is really important. It is one of the leading business schools in the United States. Also, I would like that surgeon to be able to talk to me about [laughs] what’s going on. Adam Tobin: Yeah, yeah. Matt Abrahams: Who’s a communicator that you admire and why? Say, “Tell me more,” or say, “What thoughts do you have about that?” Like let them keep talking, because sometimes you’re just misinterpreting that negative energy. Do you want to make mention of that? And if I just make a right and a right, I’ll get back on the freeway and I know how to get home. Dan Klein: There’s another message that we got from Keith Johnstone and from Patricia that I personally found really powerful, and I use it in my teaching all the time. So if someone does something funny to be celebrated, as the teacher, as the host, to call it out, you get that laugh, but you get it in service of the other person and of the message. This event features a cast of Stanford actors and will be directed by Sebastian Davis, '02. Matt Abrahams: What I found so interesting about this, and I don’t know, Adam, if you want to comment on it, is when I participated in this game, people get so frustrated because they feel that they’re not doing the game right. In 2009, Dan was named Stanford Teacher of the Year by the Student’s Association. Can you share a little bit about where you think that challenge comes from? So he’s like our grand mentor. Adam Tobin: Thank you. We’re all doing it at the same time. Matt Abrahams: The way I like to think about it is whenever you have to communicate, you have two fundamental things you have to worry about. How do I say this? So whatever someone called out to him, the tone of voice, the phrasing; he was so present and aware of what it was that everyone just fell apart. But to have flexed these other muscles and be able to have another approach so we can choose in certain situations to turn off the evaluation and the judging and act in another way. Learn how to shape the way others see you through your verbal and nonverbal communication in this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart. We get the frame really well established, which then gives us room to play within the structure. Dan has also partnered with Stanford Professor Carol Dweck to create interactive workshops on her breakthrough research on Mindset. Use of this system is subject to Stanford University's rules and regulations. Cozy up and listen up to our top episodes from 2020. Stanford GSB class of 2022 is made up of 436 students out of an applicant pool of 7,324 students. We end each of these podcasts with a little game. He said when you’re trying to be original, you sound like everyone else trying to be original. Be obvious is the most powerful, creative mantra that there is. There are some laughs that are actually costly. And the same is true in improv. Adam Tobin: And it’s amazing people can shut down, or sometimes people can talk too much. The expectation is that I’ve been asked to do this, or I need to do this, and I want to do it right. And that’s always true. We’ll give you credit. And when there are structures, you can kind of say, “Okay, here’s what I’m doing first,” or, “Normally, I would do that first, but I’m going to switch it around.” And it just gives you a basis in which to play. Matt Abrahams: And we see this in lots of high stakes situations. Stanford GSB Essays: Tips & Strategy on Writing What Matters Most. So I’d like to hear from each of you a bit about how present orientation helps in spontaneous moments. And use something from the room in your talk. I think of athletes who for years have been practicing what they do. Dan Klein is also a lecturer at Stanford, both at the Graduate School of Business as well as in Theater and Performance Studies. Sometimes you’ll get it right and sometimes you get it wrong. Stanford improv experts discuss the art of in-the-moment communication in this episode of Think Fast, Talk Smart. You have to see how this is now an opportunity to expand and extend versus to just offend and entrench. Matt Abrahams: Absolutely. There’s a wonderful saying that comes from the world of improv, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, but this notion of Dare to Be Dull. Matt Abrahams: So Dan, who’s a communicator that you admire and why? Dan Klein: Yeah. Award-winning economist Susan Athey, noted econometrician Guido Imbens, corporate finance expert Joshua Rauh, and others to join Stanford GSB faculty. It brings you into that present moment. July 27, 2020 | by Matt Symonds. (gsb.stanford.edu) By bringing that question, he’s bringing his concerns and he was actually trying to help. It never occurred to me. Our mentor, Patricia Ryan Madson, she had a mentor in improvisation. You need building blocks a little bit. So Adam, since you were a little less original, we’ll give you question number two. Adam Tobin: You know who I really enjoy is Trevor Noah, the host of the Daily Show. But we also encouraged people to plan your story, rehearse it, practice it, but don’t memorize it because it’s like the life force gets pulled out when you’re just reciting the lines. 10+ years as a reporter, producer, and director for National Public Radio and Marketplace. And his autobiography audiobook is just amazing. But in fact, there are a whole bunch of rules and procedures and processes that folks doing improv are working on together and sharing. They’re fired up in another way. And now I’ll have a sense of what we’re beginning to do on stage. Think Fast, Talk Smart is a podcast produced by Stanford Graduate School of Business and hosted by Matt Abrahams. Experience Stanford business and medicine in a health care leadership program featuring design thinking and personal leadership skill development. We’re thinking about ourselves or thinking about how it looks, how we did. Adam Tobin: Right. I need to be present enough to kind of find a way to solve the answers. It’s providing feedback in the moment, answering questions, and introducing people. Along with other schools on campus, both Sloan and GSB are well known for its world-class entrepreneurial environment. So it seems to me that everything we’ve talked about so far is really about mindset and approach. But it’s also true. We are certainly not saying that this is the only way to communicate. That was I don’t need to have all the answers. And if you see a professional improv show, they don’t kind of slowly get up on stage and go, “What should we do tonight?” They have a very clear plan about how are we going to get this first suggestion? if not, then just take a class where you think you might meet interesting people. But also, I mean, I do think that when you have a script that you’ve written out, you’ve added all these other layers of judgment to it. Adam Tobin: And I did paraphrase. Adam Tobin: Yeah. Thank you, guys. Adam Tobin: Yeah. In the moment when an audience member is challenging, when they ask a question that might have an aggressive tone to it, something that might put you on the defensive, especially if you’re not that confident about that specific area, one of the things that I learned as a facilitator, and I’ve seen it happen over and over again, is that person is the most engaged. It’s about your listener. Catapult your career with the only program from a leading business school for LGBTQ executives. You have to do something. We are so driven to be interesting. His work at Hasso Platner Institute for Design involves teaching workshops on Improv and Design for interdisciplinary graduate students studying Design Thinking. Cox is currently teaching a course at Stanford GSB on “group dynamics and body language” entitled Acting with Power. [Laughter] Our fear of being seen as unoriginal is one of the most inhibiting fears that we carry. Adam, same question to you. Like I don’t want to get so lost that it’s actually physically dangerous and I might be in trouble. Stanford in Entertainment is kicking off the year with a table read of the winning comedy and drama scripts from the 2019 ALL WRITE NOW! And a great way I think for people to help get in that present moment, not when they’re playing improv games because improv games invite that but taking time to greet your audience. Very calm and comfortable, but so comfortable in his own skin. The class profile paints a picture of how the typical student in this year’s Stanford MBA class stacks up in terms of scores, demographics and work experience. Matt Abrahams: Oh, okay. Adam Tobin: And I’m a huge believer in structure in film and television, too. Adam Tobin: Right. It happened. We like to play, say yes, and make people smile. In the Managerial Skills Labs we examine several common managerial challenges faced by executives. And yes, it reaffirms fidelity. Did I get that message right? Adam Tobin: It’s not about you. And if your obvious thing is different, then that’s actually genuinely original. But I want to find something I’ve never seen before. Each episode provides concrete, easy-to-implement tools and techniques to help you hone and enhance your communication. But we are expert at that because, for most of the time, we’re improvising. What’s the curtain call? That also short circuits your ability [laughs] to be present and in the moment. At even another level, one of the things that we learned from Patricia from the first day was we’re not doing improv so that we have less work, right? So there are these offers everywhere. Dan Klein: Yeah. Venture capital has its origins on Sand Hill Road, where Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital got their start in the ’70s and which runs along the border of the Stanford University campus. That’s a mantra that I share a lot. Dan Klein: Here’s something we haven’t quite talked about, but it fits into everything. And I was running near my house the other day in Oakland, and I was going to go the way I know to get home, and I thought, well, I’ll just get a little bit lost. I’m curious if both of you would be willing to be a little spontaneous. But it’s much more like I’m in a conversation where I’m putting information out. It’s just when we get put on the spot. You had to listen and have that mindset. Adam Tobin: And it’s something we’ve all experienced in that room, and no other talk will experience that. Like I wasn’t aware of this. Stanford Improvisors - SImps. They’re the one who is going to be your biggest supporter when you work with them and are able to engage and turn around. You know, nobody wakes up and writes the script of the day, and everyone else goes along with that script. You don’t have to change everything you’re going to do, but reference something that’s come up on that day in that moment so that your talk is particular to that space and that time. Am I hitting all the words that I needed to hit? For many people, though, it’s very nerve-wracking to go from that monologue to dialogue, to letting other people in. Based in Silicon Valley at the world’s modern epicenter for entrepreneurship and innovation, the Graduate School of Business has been churning out entrepreneurially-minded MBAs for decades.. Over the past three years, an average of 16% of the graduating full-time MBA classes have elected to launch a venture immediately after graduation. Dan also is an instructor at the D School. That spur-of-the-moment communication can be as important, if not more important, than our planned high-stakes communications. Adam is a senior lecturer in Film and Media Studies here at Stanford University, and a teacher in Continuing Studies. I connect this to teaching but also to speaking, with teaching being a variation of speaking, which is sometimes we really want to get a laugh because the laugh kind of gives us an indication that everyone’s with us and it’s working. But there is a laugh that you can get which comes from highlighting something funny or interesting that someone else did. At the GSB he co-teaches (with Professor Deb Gruenfeld), “Acting With Power” which explores the use of status behaviors to increase organizational effectiveness. He can speak sometimes crassly or glibly or sometimes like really kind of profoundly. Matt Abrahams: Let me start by introducing Adam Tobin. I think those three ingredients would make for a wonderful, spontaneous speaker. And when I have the audacity to be in front of my MBA students and say, “Dare to be dull.” And it sucks the air right out of the room because I immediately have to follow it up with why. I see them kind of emerge and show up as themselves, which is something that they’ve been holding back. And it wasn’t until the seventh or eighth time that I got lost and I looked up and I said, I don’t know where I am, but I’ve been lost here before. One is what am I saying, and other is how am I saying it? And after a round of that, then we do another round where you say Shout the Previous Name. Dan Klein: And hopefully you’ll get messed up. And that mindset shift of I’m presenting, I’m in front of a group. And I know none of the three of us is advocating that you get up in a spontaneous speaking situation and just say the first thing that comes to your mind. You missed the point. So can you share some ideas about how we get out of our own way? But taking that approach really made a big difference. We’ve talked about a lot of really interesting, useful skills that people can use to feel more comfortable speaking in a spontaneous way. I mean, you mentioned yes and. You’re not going to fight with them, but they are an opportunity. This is something that’s going to be torturous. And the moment we have that self-conscious awareness, it’s like our brain starts to short circuit. Every single time. Matt Abrahams: Being present oriented is really critical in what I’m hearing us discuss. And it’s called Shout the Wrong Name. Dan Klein: Adam already said it earlier. But what I like about him is a mix of he does seem always present. I mean, Matt has talked about in our class that anxiety peaks at the beginning of a talk and at the end of a talk. How are we going to do the lights at the beginning? You could call it the previous thing, or you could call it the next thing or something else in the room or something not in the room, or something that’s not even a thing. In fact, if we’re going to step into this world, we have an extra responsibility that we are not late, that we are not casual and sloppy, that we are taking care of each other, and that we are doing this in a most respectful way. not sure what to take? Matt Abrahams: Right. Another way to make sure that you’re listening well and understanding is using paraphrasing. You can’t be worried about everything that could happen if I’m shaking your hand and asking you a question. And the first round is Shout the Right Name. Not high status. You have to listen. Therefore, researching Stanford GSB class profile and employment statistics become important to know how this business school can help you achieve your career goals. But really to parse it and say when you’re met with something, see that as an opportunity. Dan Klein: And if you’re picturing the words themselves as they appear on the page, you’re in a completely different space than an actual communicator. So instead of each of you telling three, and I’ll play as well. We go into a different set of systems. Well, this is a great early game. Adam Tobin: And in speaking, that’s the thing of if you’re present, if you go just a little bit someplace you hadn’t gone before, it may feel terrifying at first. And so I enjoy the range that he brings. Dan Klein: https://www.improv.org/actors/rafe-chase/ is a brilliant improvisor and director here in the Bay Area who’s created amazing theater for more than 30 years. Matt Abrahams: There you go. But in the moment when you’re delivering, use an opportunity to pay attention. Due to recent announcements about Autumn Quarter (see the President's update), please expect ongoing changes to the class schedule. They’re engaged. So an improvisor goes on stage with absolutely nothing planned, and just the posture of their partner coming on stage will say, ah, that person is just a little slumped, or that person is a little proud. Matt Abrahams: That’s true. Contact: Claudia Dorn Manager of Resources and Community Office of the Vice President for the Arts firstname.lastname@example.org. And that’s a way to kind of demystify or take the anxiety out of these situations. Being conversational always I think is beneficial. The exciting buzz of start-up opportunities and entrepreneurial spirit permeates student life on campus, with an impressive offering of excellent STEM and humanities majors. But sometimes we see this with improvisors specifically. GSB Fall 2021 Alumni Weekend and Class Reunions - SAVE THE DATE 09/30/2021 to 10/03/2021 Knight Management Center, Stanford CA 94305 Do the research. It’s about making your partner look good. Stanford GSB difference draws on the forward-looking intellectual vitality of its students and faculty, a commitment to principled and personal leadership, a culture of collaboration and innovation, a global orientation, and a tightly connected alumni network. It’s not the step-by-step street name that you go to to get to where you want to be. Harikesh Nair Jonathan B. Lovelace Professor in the Graduate School of Business. TV competition. /div /div The Stanford Graduate School of Business (also known as Stanford Business School or Stanford GSB) is one of the professional schools of Stanford University, in Stanford, California. Dan Klein: You call it a lamp. And I think that’s one of the big key aha moments I have I doing the work that I’ve done with you all is that we stifle creativity before we actually have an opportunity to be creative because we’re evaluating. He would disarm them so easily. I’ll never forget when I went for my first martial arts black belt, somebody I trust and a mentor, right before I went to do the test, he looked at me and said, “Have fun.” And I was in total utter shock. Matt Abrahams: So that authenticity then, yeah. What this person was doing was actually asking me for ammunition that he could then take to his boss to sell my story. But the dialogue hasn’t been written. And Daniel was the host of it. And I fully believe if you take the approaches that we’ve talked about and the mindset, it puts you in a place where you can then think about the different structures, maps, approaches that you want to take and, therefore, plug the information in. What I have found in the work I do is we often don’t take the time to be present enough to listen, to understand truly what’s needed in that moment so we can respond accordingly. You’re actually dealing with what’s going on, what’s in your head, what your reaction to the thing is. That I think is really the crux of what hinders a lot of people in these situations is that ability to let go. And for me, that was a mindset shift. You build up a trust in yourself over time, and by putting yourself out there in safer ways, and then increasingly you get more and more comfort. You had to be present in the moment to see that that’s what was going on. I’m a big fan of paraphrasing, such that you hear the information and demonstrate you heard the information. So you actually free up your brain to focus on what you’re going to say and how you put it in the structure. Programs help students launch careers of … That’s wonderful training. It’s about them. And I’ve seen it many times. look at your general requirements, and see if there are any classes that look interesting that fill a requirement that you’d have to do at one point or another. Matt Abrahams: That’s right. 661 likes. I mean, one of the improvisors’ mantras is that there are always offer coming at us from all different directions and that we should notice those offers. So I’m going to ask each of you three questions that we end each podcast with. But I’m going to turn this into a little bit of an improv game. And our audiences, for sure, are giving us offers all the time. In this “Quick Thinks” podcast episode, Stanford improv experts share advice on getting out of our heads and into the moment at hand. Listen online, no signup necessary. But most professional communication is spontaneous in nature. The point is to get lost on purpose and discover what you find.” And for me, that was another mindset shift. Stanford GSB’s Initiative for Leadership Education and Development (I-LEAD) is designed to significantly increase the capacity of our MBA students in a different way. Take time to get to know them. You are. And specificity and naturalness. • Catch the latest school and alumni news on Facebook • Leverage your alumni connections on LinkedIn • … Bit obscure here we ’ ll treat it as an opportunity to pay attention moving... 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