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Improvisation is ‘yoga for your social skills’ and can make you better leaders, Second City’s Anne Libera and Kelly Leonard say

“We can use these improvisational exercises to help people understand their own behavior,” Libera said.

It turns out improv isn’t just about comedy — in fact, it didn’t even start out that way. Instead, it could be used to hone social skills and make you a better leader, Second City directors Anne Libera and Kelly Leonard said at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

“Improvisation is yoga for your social skills,” Leonard said. “Improvisation is loud, noisy group mindfulness — it’s a practice in being unpracticed.”

According to Leonard, recalibrating the way you communicate by saying “Yes, and” — as opposed to “No” — helps to innovate.

“[It] operates at the front end of innovation,” he said. “It’s about getting to an abundant amount of ideas. It’s rapid prototyping of creativity.”

To illustrate this, Libera and Leonard led the audience in a number of improv exercises to show how conversations change depending on the approach taken.

“We can use these improvisational exercises to help people understand their own behavior, show insights into behavioral science and give you skills that allows you to alter your own behavior in your own life,” Libera said.

You can watch the full video above.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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