One Word Suggestion: Lipstick.
Welcome to One Word Suggestion.
Most people think improv is just for comedy or jazz music. But, really, it’s a tool for life. For each article in this series I use a single word, suggested by you, as a leaping off point to explore how having an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level, both personally and professionally, whether you have a career on or off the stage.
As you can probably guess lipstick is not part of my daily beauty routine, which basically consists of shower and soap and not much else. But for this podcast, I’ve decided to try some on.
Lipstick, in improv terms, is essentially “yes, anding” your face. Accepting the reality and building on it, working with what you have to make something even better – maybe. I suppose it depends on the colour and if it matches your outfit.
We all want to look our best and science proves there’s a correlation between looking good and feeling good. How we dress and our appearance can affect how people see us and how we see ourselves.
And it’s been proven that changing your appearance can impact not only perception but performance. That might mean a new outfit, haircut, or using whitening toothpaste. But unless you make real, meaningful change within, the clothes and colour will fade and you will eventually be exposed for who you really are and what you really have to offer.
Chris Rock does a great bit about liars. “You wearing high heels? You ain’t that tall. You got on makeup? Your face don’t look like that. You got a Wonderbra on…” you get the idea.
However small a lie lipstick may seem to Chris, the reality is none of us are perfect. Not me. Not you. And the more we learn to accept this, the better we’ll all get along. And no amount of covering up will hide your negative beliefs or personal issues. As one of our students, Susan Zheng said, “people have personal issues that they think are business problems.”
Just because you try to hide your flaws does not mean they’re not there. You can hire consultants and strategists to makeover your business, or redo your logo, but unless you actually have tools for change, and use them, you won’t change, and your business won’t change.
So how can you apply lipstick to your business? The answer is by teaching everyone on your team to be the lipstick for each other. To make each other look good by developing an ensemble mindset and an environment where everyone is focused on helping and supporting each other.
Sometimes what we really need is less colour and more of a balm – something to soothe and heal, and help us feel better and more comfortable with who we are.
And there’s nothing like improv training to give people and teams more authenticity and confidence when it comes to sharing ideas and putting their best face forward.
The truth is you’re perfect just the way you are. So choose not to hide behind a mask of insecurity and fear, the real you is what people want to see and will connect with.
But if you’re feeling less fabulous than normal, a little improv lipstick could give you that extra bit of confidence you need to face the day.
And leave your mark, not just on a wine glass, but on the world.
If you want to suggest a word for next week, or add your perspective, drop me a note in the comments or in a review. I’m making one of these every week, for a year, so definitely subscribe, like, share, and all that jazz.
Or better yet, listen to the podcast.
And in the meantime, if you’re interested in improv for personal growth, professional achievement, or just for fun, my suggestion is to get yourself into an improv class or book a corporate training workshop for your team.
You can learn all about PowerProv’s programs at powerprov.com.au
About One Word Suggestion
The One Word Suggestion series is your personal toolbox full of ways to help you use the power of improvisation to craft a more mindful and meaningful existence. Available as articles, a podcast, and soon, a book filled with powerful exercises for teams.
The One Word Suggestion Podcast with Eran Thomson
In each 3-minute episode, Eran uses a single word, suggested by listeners, as a leaping off point to explore how developing an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level personally and professionally.
Whether you aspire to be better on stage or on the job, this quick hit of improv inspiration is sure to bring you some insights, perspective, and joy.
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