One New Way to Make Collaboration Skills Stick

By Beth BoyntonHot TopicsLeave a Comment

medical improv

According to a recent study, healthcare workers who undergo team training can lower their medical error rate by 19 percent.

What’s exciting about the principles of medical improv is that most of them could just as easily be rules for respectful communication and collaboration. For instance, “Yes and…” is often considered the “golden rule” of improv, applied improv and medical improv. Basically what it means is that participants agree to say “yes” and build upon what their partner offers while the “and” refers to adding something to the mix.  The “yes” is about accepting while the “and” is about building.  Since participants do both in all interactions, they share responsibility for the story they are creating.

In fact, you cannot participate in an improv activity without practicing and developing your interactive skills! And, amazingly one person can be developing assertiveness while another is developing listening.  In the same activity and in the same moment participants learn together, teach each other, and the relationship part of our complex adaptive system becomes healthier.

Is it time to take a leap of faith and try something innovative and new?  I say, yes, and as the emerging practice of medical improv helps us develop our communication and collaboration skills, the healthier our relationships, teamwork, systems, and outcomes will be.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with HealthLeaders Media about the impact medical improv can have on team training. Click here to read the Q&A.


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About the Author
Beth Boynton

Beth Boynton

Beth Boynton, RN, MS specializes in communication, collaboration, and workplace culture. She is a Medical Improv Practitioner and author of Medial Improv: A New Way to Improve Communication (CreateSpace 2017), Successful Nurse Communication (F.A. Davis 2015), and Confident Voices (CreateSpace 2009). Find more of her stories at Confident Voices in Healthcare.

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