Approach

“In one hour, you changed too many NOs in my head, gave me tools to stay open, and not allow others to dictate my YES.”-Paul Berryman, Standard & Poor’s

Jeanne M. Stafford Approach

I believe the same quality that creates a strong leader also contributes to becoming a better parent, colleague, partner, and friend.

That quality is the ability to communicate generously and authentically – and it’s a learnable skill that anyone can master.

I am a professional speaker and communications trainer, and I draw upon my extensive 18-year experience as a comedy improviser to train people how to manage well in uncertain situations, think on their feet and build trust amongst individuals, teams and organizations. The methods I use have been taught and recognized by higher education institutions such as MIT and Harvard, and implemented by corporate culture leaders such as Coca Cola, General Motors and Motorola. My approach is loosely based on the four following principles:

Enter Free

An actor in an improv scene will be most effective if their mind is free and without intent to drive the scene. The result is funny. I adapt this concept to encourage openness and communication amongst teams to further productivity and creativity in a non-judgmental environment.
Avoid blocking ideas.

Give and Receive

How we communicate is crucial to productive relationships both professionally and personally, and the foundation is how we listen. Learn how to accept what someone is offering you, and how to make an offer in return, keeping the interaction generative and positive. The timing of pauses and response can be very powerful.

Say YES

Keeping the mind open and saying “yes” to whatever is presented paves the way for new experiences. Fully accept the current reality, then add a new piece to keep your projects and brainstorms moving forward. Encourage creativity and support amongst your team.

Transform

A character is different at the end of an improv scene based on the events that changed them. Allowing change brings new perspectives and reactions, which naturally unfolds new ideas. Create dynamic learning environments where people are comfortable with the unexpected and respond openly and quickly, and avoid over-analysis.

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