JESSIE SHTERNSHUS is founder at Improv Effect and coauthor of CTRL Shift – 50 Games For 50 ****ing Days Like Today, a book with original improv games tailored to the kind of ****ing day you’re having. She also uses improv (virtually and in person) to help software teams with onboarding, communication, and team building. She notes that improv is a great tool for learning about and accepting each other’s uniqueness, thinking on the spot, and being self-aware. It can also help teams find similarities with each other and solve problems creatively.



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Her tips for working remotely:

  • Practice being aware and how to think on the spot.
  • Learn how to actively listen to each other.
  • Make your onboarding process more experiential; map it to your values and culture.
  • Find the things that are unique about people.

Podcast production by Podcast Monster

Graphic design by Alfred Boland


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Original transcript

Lisette: Great, and we’re recording. So welcome everybody to this remote interview. My name is Lisette, and I’m interviewing people and companies doing great things remotely. And today on the line, I have something a little different. I’m speaking with Jessie Shternshus. It’s a great last name. Jessie, you’re the founder of Improv Effect and the co-author of CTRL-SHIFT. It’s a book called CTRL-SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 Shternshusing Days Like Today. [Crosstalk – 00:34]. We’ll talk about that. I’ll definitely get to this book. It’s a great book title. You makeshift happen. We’ll also get into that. But let’s start with the first question, which I always start with, which is tell us what your virtual office looks like. What do you need to get your work done?

Jessie: I definitely need my MacBook. And I need some sort of headphone and microphone. Other than that, I can really be working from anywhere. And since I work worldwide, I often have my London office and my California office. But it’s really in a hotel room. It’s not super sexy or anything. And sometimes when services aren’t working well, then all sorts of craziness ensues. I’ve had those issues where I have to be in my car and have my office.

Lisette: It is amazing how many hotels have bad Internet service.

Jessie: Yes, totally.

Lisette: Yeah, even when we’re willing to pay, hotels, if you’re listening.

Jessie: Yes, hotels, come in, come in, please. Please give us free Internet service.

Lisette: Or just good Internet service. Do you work with employees? Or are you a one-woman show?

Jessie: I had my first employee this summer. I have one other full-time employee. And I have a handful of subcontractors all over the place.

Lisette: Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about how you work with your company with these people remotely. Then we’ll go into writing the book and also working with teams who are doing virtual work. How does your team operate?

Jessie: We typically either get on a Google Hangout or we do a Skype call. We’ve been using a lot of Trello to kind of put together the curriculum and how we’re going to build the training programs for people. So we do a lot of that. And we have a system for the card so that each card can tell the objective of the game or exercise, a description. And then we can move around the cards. And we can put the faces of different people on the cards who might lead that game so you can easily see how it’s going to work in the actual day when we’re there and that kind of thing. So that’s one we use pretty often.

Lisette: Okay, so you’re talking to each other mainly via Hangouts and Skype, and then [crosstalk – 03:11] management mainly through Trello.

Jessie: [Crosstalk – 03:14] Trello, or Google Docs is another one we use a lot of as well.

Lisette: And what’s challenging about the way that you guys work?

Jessie: I think obviously, there’s trickiness that comes with not having everybody face-to-face. My one full-time employee does live in Florida, in Jacksonville with me. So typically, we can be in the same room more often than not. But making sure that the culture and the needs and everything comes across the way that you intended, and making sure that everybody is on the same page with maybe not having them in the room. There are obviously some things that could be misinterpreted or questions that maybe didn’t get asked, things like that.

Lisette: And why go remote? Why be remote?

Jessie: We have work all over the world. And we’re typically not in the same place. Every couple of weeks, we’re somewhere else. So it really lends itself to needing to be mobile, being able to move around and do work from different places. So if we’re working in London and there’s a day in between, we might be having virtual meetings there with another client back in the States. And it makes it easier. Also, there’s not the overhead obviously of having an office for everybody. We can work out of our home or wherever we are at the time.

Lisette: Yeah, that makes sense. So there’s sort of a necessity where you’re traveling all over the world. You just need to be in touch with people.

Jessie: Yeah, that thing needs to be flexible. It has to be flexible.

Lisette: So let’s dive into Improv a bit and what you do with your business because I think it’s really interesting. I’ve been exploring the idea. It’s [unintelligible – 05:09] around in my head. People are encouraging me to do it. Why is it so important? What is it that you actually use Improv for in businesses? Okay, that’s two big questions, sorry.

Jessie: Basically, I’ve been doing Improv since I was a kid, since I was 10. And I was doing it in a children’s theater class when I first started. And I just really loved the idea of Improv in terms of being accepting of all the different types of people and types of stories and types of way of doing things. And that’s accepted. Your uniqueness is accepted and built off of. So that’s a pretty addictive environment to be in. So I just never stopped. And then as I did it for years and years and years, I realized that a lot of the tools and things that I was learning had life beyond the stage. It didn’t have to be about being funny. I was learning how to think on the spot. I was learning how to collaborate with other people, to have self-awareness to understand other people’s ideas or stories, and play off of those things. And there are so many [tie-ins – 06:22] to business in the real world that Improv can teach you.

Lisette: I can imagine. So the thinking on the spot is the one that always comes up for me the most. There are all those people that are hiding behind their laptops with the thinkers of the world [you are afraid to – 06:42]…

Jessie: Right, and the thing is all of these things that we expect people to do every day in their working world, we expect them to do, but we don’t give them any way to practice it. It’s funny that we help people all the time practice technical things, and yet half of what we expect them to do and half of the things are going to be sort of graded on are these softer things and nobody has helped them to do it. So Improv is a really fun way to practice just being better at really being present, and really seeing what each moment needs, and being able to be flexible and know that moments change. And the way you do things, the way you present yourself needs to change with what’s given at that time.

Lisette: Do you get kickback from companies? Because it sounds to me like this would be a lot of fun. Improv just seems like whenever you see pictures or videos, people are always laughing because [crosstalk – 07:38] [fillingness] that comes out. [crosstalk] problems selling that to businesses?

Jessie: I think at first, when I first started my company, it was learning and practicing how to help a client understand the connections between real value and yes, it’s fun, but there’s so much more. And as we’ve gone along, at least for the past five years, everything that we’ve put together is based on whatever the strategy of companies is or what objectives they’re trying to meet that fall under either communication, collaboration, or creative problem-solving. And then we kind of get down to the nitty-gritty to find that okay, when we work with you over this period of time, what deliverables do you want? What are the outcomes that you want? And then we’ll design. We’ll kind of reverse-engineer the training to that. So every exercise that we do, not only is it fun. It might be changing the dynamic. It might be with a pair, a large group, or a small group. Just keep switching. So it’s more like real life. And then at the end of every exercise, we talk about what did you get out of this, the debrief. So what did you learn? What could you use? How could you apply it? So that way, they understand that there’s so much more value other than just fun.

Lisette: And when businesses are coming to you, what is it that they’re trying to solve initially when they’re searching for you?

Jessie: Usually, I would say there are a couple of things that are pretty typical. It usually falls under professional development, so things like cross-functional teamwork or communication. And that could be both an internal team or an external team or even to their client if they’re like a consultancy or something like that. Then there are other things around presentation skills, people not being comfortable speaking in front of others, and again, both formal and informal.

And then I would say another thing is creative problem-solving. So we help them push their brains in different ways and think about their product or process in a different way and to help them come up with a strategy to come out with something new or make something better. And the first thing we even do in that kind of training is help them with communication and collaboration. So if they can’t get along and they can’t listen to each other, there’s no reason that you should problem-solve because that’s your problem. So they kind of all nicely go together. And same thing, if they come up with a great strategy or a product afterwards, and they can’t speak to it, they can’t present it to other people, then it’s only as good as the idea, and it doesn’t go anywhere. So it’s nice to have… They all tie in.

And I would say the other big thing that clients have been coming to us is onboarding, helping them assess how their onboarding program is, or if it even exists, and how to make it more experiential, and make it match their culture and values more, and help them sort of build out that program and then help train people to facilitate it.

Lisette: So you say if it even exists. So that’s implying [that a – 10:57] number of companies that don’t have onboarding processes… That’s also been my experience. Usually, when I’ve started at a company, I just show up and they show me my desk. And then you’re just sitting there [crosstalk – 11:08].

Jessie: Exactly.

Lisette: No, really, I couldn’t believe it, actually.

Jessie: Yeah, so we find that a lot that is very similar experience that many new hires are having. And the ironic thing is their culture, their values, what they say their culture and values is not shown in that very first touch point at all. So it’s sort of like it may just seem like [flufth – 11:31], really. So what we want to do is kind of get to what are the core values. What do you really care about at the end of the day? What was your value proposition to even get this person to come work here? And how can you make that come to life the second they walk in the door or sometimes even before they walk in the door?

Lisette: Right, I can imagine there are lots of opportunities for touch points.

Jessie: Yeah, and it goes back to those things again, usually, culture, communication, tools, problem-solving. All those things again that I talked about that we do anyway are needed in sort of that onboarding system or framework that they put together.

Lisette: I keep hearing people say with employee engagement that most people come to work motivated because you’re coming to a job motivated. And it’s up to the job not to demotivate you after you’ve gotten there.

Jessie: Right. And it happens a lot. Typically, somebody will come in, and they’ll say, “Okay, go check out this wiki page or whatever.” And the wiki page is completely outdated. Nobody even knows they showed up to work depending on how fast the company is growing. And there’s no formal introduction. And I mean that it can be remote too. There’s nothing that helps them feel what they wanted to feel when they walked in the door. So [crosstalk – 12:54] get there.

Lisette: Super interesting. We’ll talk about remote teams in a second and your experience with virtual teams. But first I want to talk about this book. I don’t want to forget to talk about it because it’s so brilliant. CTRL-SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 ****ing Days Like Today. Tell us about the book and why you wrote it and what this is about and also how you wrote it, which is super interesting.

Jessie: I guess I’ll start with first how we wrote it. I wrote it with another person. And we actually worked on it for two years. And we never once were in the same room face-to-face. So we worked on it in a very Improvy, meaning we were collaborating through chat functions and thinking of ideas and then literally finishing each other’s sentences, so very yes, and mentality. Oh, you’re giving me an idea, and I’m building off of it. And the chapters literally came out that way. There are many chapters and segments in the book. We have no idea who wrote what because it was so collaborative. And like I said, it was completely virtual. So it was a great experience. And the reason we did the book is again, many people understand that there are lots of ways to solve or hack your day. And there are many things that come out of experiential exercises and Improv that could help you do that. So the idea of the book is helping you shift in a controlled environment. How can you move within the set of circumstances to come out where you want to be? So each chapter is a different kind of day that you might be having a scenario. And then inside of that chapter is a game that you could play to help you make it through that day. So that’s the idea.

Lisette: Wow! And how did you meet your co-author?

Jessie: Actually, he was somebody. I secretly loved his first book. Crazy story, anyway, he wrote this other book called game-changers. And I loved it. And at some point, we got connected with each other on a project where we were told that we are both really good with Improv and really good with the engineering Agile thing. So we were both hired to do the same project together. And by the end of the first day, he said, “Do you want to write a book with me?” And I was like, “Oh, my gosh, you have no idea how crazy this is because [crosstalk – 15:29] I was being [pumped], to be honest. And I had an idea for a book, but I really wanted to write it with somebody else. Because of my Improv background, I really enjoyed collaborating with people. I like playing in that way. So I had envisioned that if I did a book, it would be with somebody else. And what better than to be with this person that I was secretly a fangirl of? So not a secret [laughs].

Lisette: Awesome. And you did it virtually because you guys are [crosstalk – 16:02].

Jessie: Yeah, exactly, he is in California, and I’m in Florida. So the way for us to get things done was to work on it virtually.

Lisette: Wow! Very exciting. So now you mentioned Agile. I want to ask what is your connection with Agile. You gave a keynote at Agile 2015, so clearly the connection there is strong. How are you involved in the Agile world?

Jessie: I kind of fell into it. Some of my very first corporate clients were in software development and engineering. And I really loved the marriage of what I was bringing to the table and what they were bringing to the table. And even though you think it’s an odd combination… What software developer, engineer would want to do Improv? You would think probably none. But here it was, and it was working. It was working really well. And it kept working. So I kept being in these environments where I was hearing things about Agile in standup meetings. In retrospect, [it was like – 17:00], “What is this stuff?” And as I started exploring it more, I realized the Agile manifesto was basically exactly like an Improv manifesto. Word for word, the things and theories and ideas that were important to Agile are the things that are really important to Improv. So I thought, “Well, why not use these things as other ways to do this stuff?” So that’s how it happened.

Lisette: Wow! The great crossover. It’s true because I don’t think of Improv and software engineers in the same [crosstalk – 17:31].

Jessie: Yeah, and 90 percent of our business is in the sort of software and design space. So that’s how we make a living. It’s crazy.

Lisette: A lot of your workshops, they’re in person, right?

Jessie: Um-hum.

Lisette: Do you do virtual workshops?

Jessie: Yeah, we usually do virtual pieces of training or building of curriculum to go back to onboarding. We would help them collaborate on where they want to go and do all of that virtually. And then eventually, we would come in and do in person, train the trainer, so that they can do it themselves later. So a lot of the building of that stuff happens virtually. And also, every now and then, we’ll do ideations where we take a group of people in the room, and we just run them through different exercises and frameworks to help them come up with some sort of strategy. And we can do that as well virtually.

And for me, personally, it’s been nice to find things and projects that can be done virtually, or at least parts of them, because before, every single time we had any work, we would have to be physically in the room. And that can be extremely taxing. You don’t have a family and all those things. So it’s been really fun to experiment and find ways that I can have more of a balance in my life. And some of that comes from being able to do virtual work.

Lisette: Are there virtual teams that are coming to you, the teams that are working together virtually? Let’s talk about that. That is something that I’m super curious about.

Jessie: Yeah, mostly, in our case, they’re tech companies where in order to find the set of skills that the companies are looking for, they just have to be able to offer virtual work and remote work. So once they do that, these people typically have really great technical shops. But they want to make sure that these people can pair together or work together virtually and are motivated and trust each other. So what we’ll do is help them come in and assess what is your culture and what is important to you, and then build things that those virtual team members can do virtually to work towards those outcomes beyond the technical stuff.

Lisette: Do you have an example that you can share? I’m just trying to visualize it.

Jessie: Yeah. For one, maybe, let’s say somebody is new to the team or they hired a couple of new people and they’re all in different spaces. We might do an introduction game that I call Introduction Tiebacks. So everybody would introduce themselves one-by-one. So if I was introducing myself first, I would say a couple of sentences about who I am and my background, what I love. And then the next person to go, whoever they are, we need to tie something into what I said to their introduction. So as you go through the team, you’re finding not only the things that are unique about people but the way stories and their backgrounds can be tied together. And then below the surface, you’re basically teaching them to really listen. That’s a collaborative thing. So typically, when you’re introducing yourself to people in a networking sense or in the beginning, you’re just waiting for your turn to talk. And maybe you’re nervous about having to talk in front of people even virtually. So this way, you’re making them really stay present and in the moment and be creative and problem-solve ways that they can tie things together.

Lisette: I really love that because it’s true. Even though I speak in front of people a lot, and I go to a lot of functions, I still get nervous when I’m sitting there waiting for my name, for me to… And I’m just introducing myself. I know more about myself than anybody [crosstalk – 21:33] expert.

Jessie: Right, and that’s the sentiment that most people feel. That’s really nerve-wracking, especially if they’re new to the team as well. They kind of want to make sure people understand and believe in their ability to do whatever job they were given. And that’s a really simple thing you can do virtually.

Lisette: Lovely. What do you see virtual teams that you’re working with? What are they struggling with oftentimes? I mean I know there are a lot of things.

Jessie: Yeah, I think typically, it’s the way that they communicate with each other. So they’re not hyper-aware of how they come across. And because one of their senses is taken away, it’s even more difficult. So knowing how somebody perceives you, knowing what role to play when, those things are pretty difficult to do.

And also understanding your audience, what has that person been going through that day? Or what does this person care about or not? And how do you adjust the way you communicate with them in order to get to the vision or the goal or whatever it is?

Lisette: Yeah, I can imagine that would be hard for any team, virtual or not. But then on a virtual team, it’s so much harder because most of the time, people aren’t seeing each other – though with video technology, I hope that changes over time.

Jessie: Yeah, I think it’s changing for the better in terms of the video technology. I think that definitely helps. We do things like helping teams with power dynamics. So that under-the-surface thing that’s going on in every conversation, really understanding  how what you say or what you do affects the dynamic between you and somebody else or you and a group of people. And again, practicing, making you aware of the things, and helping them just kind of play in a fun way, play with status. So I might say, “Okay, I want you to be a high negative personality. And here’s the way you need to act. Here’s how it would come across. And this other person, I want you to play really low positive. So you’re the type of person who speaks up when needed. And everybody loves what you have to say. But you’re not a steamrolling personality.” So just kind of having fun playing with what those dynamics even feel like helps people understand that they’re going on every day.

Lisette: Do you find that there’s… I don’t know how often do you do workshops with people in different cultures, different countries working together. I’m assuming these games and these exercises can only help that situation.

Jessie: Yeah, we do both in-person and virtually, lots of companies with teams all over the place. And culture plays a huge factor, not just necessarily because they’re from another country. In the States, it can even be just north and the south. It’s completely different. So we are letting these frameworks be open enough so that it’s authentic to their culture and their values. But it still shares the same vision, if that makes sense.

Lisette: Yeah, it’s just something I see lots of teams struggling with. And I want to be able to give advice, like if [unintelligible – 24:52] many cultures. I always just say, “Stop, slow down, ask more questions,” because you don’t know what you don’t know.

Jessie: Right, [and probably – 25:01] learn why it’s important to take a breath between thoughts, between ideas, and how important active listening is. All of those skills come out of Improv that help you communicate better.

Lisette: It sounds like you’re really teaching interpersonal skills between people, learning how to be self-aware, and things that probably every person on the planet could improve [crosstalk – 25:31].

Jessie: Yes, yes.

Lisette: [Crosstalk].

Jessie: And I think people going into these kind of scenarios, if I’m in their shoes, they’re typically thinking, “Dear God, I’m going to want to run out of the building. You’re going to make me be funny. You’re going to embarrass me.” And as soon as they realize that these are skills you’re expected to do every day – and they’re not about being embarrassing, and they’re not about being comedic; they can be that way, but they don’t have to be – then all of a sudden, oh, I’m expected to know how to do these things. And I’ve never practiced any of it before. This is kind of fun.

Lisette: How do you create a safe environment for people to feel comfortable practicing these things? I can imagine that even if you’re like, “Oh, I get it; I see that this is a skill that I could be using,” maybe people are still hesitant. I don’t know if there are teams where it’s not safe to do it. I’m not sure.

Jessie: Yeah, I think that is really important in terms of the facilitator. The facilitator, within the first few minutes, has to win everybody over and has to create a trusting environment. Otherwise, it’s just a complete train wreck. But you can’t do these things and put yourself out there if you feel like you can’t trust people. So what we do is we build training with that in mind, thinking, okay, in the worst-case scenario, these people are probably really nervous. They may not even know what they’re about to do. And maybe there’s some crazy power dynamic or trust thing that’s going on. What can we do to design this program to, in the first five minutes, earn their trust and make them feel comfortable? So the first thing is make them feel comfortable. So we’ll do things where there’s not all attention on one individual. But maybe they’re all working in pairs at the same time simultaneously. Or they’re all working as a group collaboratively. So they’re not singled out. And only typically, at the end of a training, we maybe work to that, and only when it’s presentation skills or something like that. But more often than not, they have partners. And they are changing partners and getting to know why these people are incredible on their team.

Lisette: Oh, really cool. Are there things that virtual teams do better than co-located teams?

Jessie: Hmm, it’s a hard question.

Lisette: Yeah, I just thought of it. It’s not on the list. I’m sorry. It was [crosstalk – 27:58]. Maybe there’s something that when you do it virtually, there’s something that comes out that you think, “Oh, that could never have been done in the same space.” Or maybe, I don’t know. It’s just…

Jessie: Hmm, I would have to think about that. I think it depends on the dynamic of the team. So it might be that because they’re virtual, they can get more done. But maybe they’re more efficient. But if efficient gets in the way of a great culture, then I think it backfires. So I think in all of these scenarios, there has to be a nice balance of what we care about beyond just what we’re working on but with each other. And for me, in a virtual scenario, you need to be even more hyper aware of how you come across and how it affects people. Like you said, ask questions. Ask them if it makes sense. Tell them to explain it back to you because otherwise, you’re moving on. And then people are losing where you were 30 minutes ago.

Lisette: Yeah, I had to do an exercise like that where I had to explain back to the person what they had just stated. And I kept getting it wrong over and over again. It was such an eye-opener for me. I thought, “Oh, I’ve got this. No problem.” And I completely failed the experiment [crosstalk – 29:19].

Jessie: Yeah, we do exercises like that all the time. So people can see that even the best people with the best of intentions can’t necessarily remember every single thing. And actually, now that I think about it, in a virtual setting, one thing that you could definitely do is take notes in a virtual way and be able to kind of capture that stuff maybe better than you might in an in-person scenario, so that you would maybe be able to pass on that information in a more succinct way than you maybe could if there are a lot of distractions in terms of everybody in the room.

Lisette: That’s true because virtually, you’re probably taking notes or [doing nothing in the chat – 30:01], whereas in the room, you’re just…

Jessie: [unintelligible – 30:05].

Lisette: Yeah, interesting. I didn’t think of that. So are there particular tools that you use in your workshop virtually with teams that you’re talking to? Or is it just the standard Skype and Hangouts?

Jessie: We do use a lot of Trello. Let’s say we go in and we’re working with a company on their professional development program. And we meet with them, we work with them on presentation skills, and we leave. So what we’ll do is we’ll put some exercises in a Trello board and design that specifically for them. So it’s customized so that they can continue the momentum and practice while we’re not there. And then we can go over some of those exercises with them on a Google Hangout or Skype call, until we get back to being with them in person. So we use that as a great way to give them things for the interim.

Lisette: Okay, and personality types, because it really comes up a lot. Especially in software engineers, you have the stereotypes. There are so many stereotypes of introverts or with interpersonal skill issues. What do you see? What kind of personality types lend itself more to Improv or thrive more in Improv or could use Improv? I don’t know. I guess this is really [crosstalk – 31:32] personality.

Jessie: [Laughs] Totally fine. Believe it or not, I think many people that would consider themselves more of an introvert actually are really great at Improv, the reason being they’re good listeners. So Improv is so important to be able to understand what you need to do and what’s happening from moment to moment. And if you’re sort of that steamrolling personality who is extremely outgoing but not paying attention to other people, even though you’re super vocal, you’re not actually as good at Improv. So it takes even longer for people like that to first understand that the need the help and to teach them how to listen better. They’re usually used to hearing themselves talk [laughs]. Does that make sense?

Lisette: Yeah, absolutely. I didn’t think of that. There’s the excellent listening skills in really being present [unintelligible – 32:32].

Jessie: And that goes back to what I said, that marriage of the engineer, the software, the designer really works well with what we’re trying to achieve. So even though they may be scared in the beginning, it’s actually great fit, and they’re actually really good at it. And they’re typically witty and quick and things like that too. That helps the scenario.

One other thing I was thinking is we’ve been doing this. It’s not really a personality test so much. But there’s this great book from IDEO called The Ten Faces of Innovation. Have you heard of that?

Lisette: No.

Jessie: It’s really awesome. And I like it because we’re typically in these really innovative environments, but where there’s a lot of stereotypes happening, where they think if your role doesn’t seem like the typical innovation thing, you’re not an innovative person or you’re not creative. And that’s not true. So what we’ve developed is we’ve kind of [unintelligible – 33:28] that book and played off of it. And we have this spider graph of all these different types of innovative personalities that they list in that book. And we have them use this. And you can do this virtually again or in person. We have them graph all the different 10 things of what they feel most like and where they don’t. And then they can do that with somebody else on their team and kind of see if there are gaps or see how together, they’re a better, collaborative, innovative team because they make up all of these things versus just a couple.

Same with hiring. Typically, people hire people like themselves. So this shows you, okay, in our team, we have this, this and this kind of innovator. And we’re really missing this thing. So when we hire, let’s keep that in mind to find that kind of person or personality.

Lisette: Right, that sounds really interesting. All right, now I’m going to have to go out and [unintelligible – 34:30]…

Jessie: Yeah, got to do it, got to do it.

Lisette: Really, [people – 34:34] really have been telling me for years to do this.

Jessie: I’m so surprised that you don’t. To be honest, it seems to align perfectly with what you seem to really care about. So I think you’ll like it if you can get yourself to the class [crosstalk – 34:50].

Lisette: I’ll go there, for sure. One of my best friends is… It comes up a lot. So now I’m like, “All right, alrighty, all right, all right.”

Jessie: Yeah, be quiet.

Lisette: Yeah, exactly. Maybe that leads really well into the last question, which is if people want to find out more and get in touch and bring Improv into their team for… I can only imagine this is really great for team building and communication skills. And because on remote teams, communication is king. I haven’t met a single company yet that’s like, “No, communication is really good. It’s something else that is the problem.”

Jessie: Yeah, yeah, always the breakdown. The breakdown is always communication.

Lisette: It’s always communication, I think. So if people want to improve that in their companies – I can’t see why you wouldn’t – how can they get in touch with you?

Jessie: I totally agree with that. They can go on the website. It’s improveffect.com. And it looks like improve if the words are put together, but it’s actually Improv Effect. You see that little slip in there. And on there, they can find descriptions of types of classes and the companies that we work with. And they can find a way to contact us and all that. And then there are other things out there on Google where they can listen to talks or podcasts and kind of get a feel for what it is that we do.

Lisette: I’ve got the website open now, and there’s a YouTube channel and Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn [crosstalk – 36:21] big names for clients.

Jessie: Yeah, because people need those things. They’re having issues with the way people work together and the way people communicate. So companies big and small struggle with those same things.

Lisette: Yeah, I also see it in my work. I’ve been very surprised with the people that are seeking workshops at these very big companies. But you’ve been working globally forever. It’s been global. But it just goes to show that communication is really hard.

Jessie: Yeah, it is hard. And it gets harder because there’s just so much going on from minute to minute. There are just so many distractions. So to really be focused on one thing is pretty difficult. It’s getting harder.

Lisette: Yeah, especially with the information overload.

Jessie: Yes, our brains are exploding [laughs].

Lisette: Yeah, definitely. Well, great, I really appreciate talking with you. It’s very exciting what you’re doing. And I really wish you the best of luck on this. So thanks so much.

Jessie: Thanks for having me.

Lisette: All right, everybody, until next time, be powerful.



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