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[Feature Friday] Coach Aden Nepom on Communicating More Effectively: The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 80

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Have you ever thought of improv theater as a team-building tool? You can learn to communicate, relate and create while having a great laugh.

On this Feature Friday episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Steve talks with coach and trainer Aden Nepom about how you can start communicating more effectively, using improv and other experimental methods in your company.

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Aden is a coach, trainer, facilitator, and TEDx Speaker. She helps people communicate more effectively and enjoy it. She’s also the president of Art of Change, which creates funny, authentic, and engaging programs for high-performing individuals and teams.

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If you think about it, we’re all kind of improvising every day in different ways. We make it all up as we go so, why not get good at it? Improv training helps speed up the process between the moment things show up in our minds and when they come out, a great tool to use when you’re in a collaborative work environment.

Among other things, Aden and Steve discussed:

  • Aden’s backstory and TEDx talk 
  • How improv applies to business situations
  • The invisible rules in the workplace
  • What creating an open and safe work environment can do for your business
  • Getting out of the comfort zone
  • Good questions to ask yourself when you’re floundering 
  • Being where you are and where you can provide value

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You can learn more about Aden here:


Follow Aden on LinkedIn

Read the books mentioned in this podcast:

The Golden Toilet by Steve Brown

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Steve Brown 0:00
Aden Nepom. That's right. Welcome to the ROI online podcast.

Aden Nepom 0:07
Thank you, Steve. It is a pleasure to be here.

Steve Brown 0:11
That's funny. So for all of you that want to remember how to say Aden's last name, you take your palm, and you slap it on your knee, knee palm. Love that. Yep. Hey, Aden, the folks that are listening to this, they're humans. They're actual humans with names, faces, dreams, hopes, families, they're not this dillards mannequin that can be dressed as a woman or a man without a face. Right? But here's the thing, they all have fear about change. And, and yet this past year and a half is like really been a major bitch slap from life on forcing change upon not just one of us, but all of us at the same time. And I love that your company art of change skills for life. And I love that your background in improv on your feet, it's improv for businesses. It's not what a great conversation we could have today with humans that are floundering between fear and joy.

Unknown Speaker 1:28
Well, let me take this opportunity to say greetings people of Earth, it is a pleasure to have this platform in which to communicate with you.

Steve Brown 1:41
You're translating it so well, from alien to human, I'm so proud of you.

Unknown Speaker 1:48
Thank you so much. You know, I'm coming from the world of improvisation. I still am a performer. And that's one area of adaptation in my personal life that, like many performers have had to experience. But inside the world of theater, there's all these micro adaptations, because a lot of patrons of the arts have really have really strong feelings about inclusivity. And in the interest of being inclusive, greeting our audiences with Good evening, ladies and gentlemen has become outdated, incomplete, and inaccurate. So in the search for trying to find a way to greet audiences, all kinds of things have arrived and greetings people of Earth has been my absolute favorite adaptation. Both certainly, I've heard you know, uh, you know, hey, pals, and greetings, friends, and all of those sort of really warm welcomes that I think are also really nice, but people over it seems really on point. So feel free to steal that everybody listening, start talking to your friends, family and audiences as people of Earth. Why not?

Steve Brown 3:05
Greetings, jerks, or non jerks.

Unknown Speaker 3:11
You know, at the height of change, we have this. Read this, like inherent rejection, this idea that people can be classified by their behavior that like you are a jerk. Because all of us are jerks sometimes. And it's contextual. So we focus a lot on behaviors that are effective in the workplace, and how to elicit those behaviors and how to respond to unpleasant behaviors and where those are motivated from. Because the truth is, you know, all of us are jerks sometimes, and all of us are generous sometimes. And all of us are a little introverted and shy sometimes.

Steve Brown 3:50
So, I'm curious about improv. Yeah, I see folks that have taken improv and like they make some good on their feet. And I'm curious about how that applies in a business situation. Because in a business situation, if you ever have a group of people that are like going, is it okay that I behave this way? Is it okay? If I call her outside the lines, there's this, there's the safety that must exist in a culture for you to let yourself go and be creative and courageous and put yourself out there. And so what a wonderful thing about doing improv in business, but I can't imagine how to get people to finally warm up to it and step into it must be real challenge.

Unknown Speaker 4:33
Well as my colleague Merlin works Shana, Merlin always says, in fact, I think this might be the catchphrase for her business. you improvise every day, so why not get good at it? The truth is, everybody is making it up as we go. We really are. We're colliding ideas. We don't this we don't have a script right now you've asked me a question and I'm coming up with an answer in this moment. Some people in pardon my I'm having my morning coffee, and pardon my whatever. But some people take longer to make it up, but they're still making it up. So somebody who's an internal processor, in that particular context, they're, they're chewing on the thought before they spit it out. And that's but they're still making it up in here and then choosing whether or not to share. So it's it's still improv, even when it's on the inner planes. And what improv training helps with is speeding up the process between things showing up here and coming out here just speeds up the process. There are some inherent behaviors that are really helpful when you're in a collaborative workspace. And it's speeding up the process of listening, getting curious, noticing more, so that when stuff shows up here, out word, that it's connected to what's happening, we don't want to just speed up you talking out loud all the time. Because if everybody's doing that 100% of the time, and nobody is listening, then we're definitely not going to get anywhere collaboratively. So the process is speeding up that habit of I'm going to get really curious about what's happening. The other thing I want to mention is that there are a lot of things that we take for granted in terms of workplace behavior that we think are norms that aren't necessarily written in stone, and add on your feet, we call those invisible rules. And I think they're worth noticing. There are things that are absolutely required for society to function like an invisible rule is that we're all going to put pants on when we meet in person. But they're, you know, and also, some states have laws about that. But in the workplace, there are invisible rules around. If somebody has rejected your idea that you're going to that you're going to fight for it. And now you're going to spend all your time fighting for it, rather than this idea that maybe if that idea has been rejected, it's okay to listen to the ideas that are gaining steam and just add to that, or the reverse might be true, maybe your idea does deserve a little bit of attention. But there's an invisible rule that says you can't say Hey, wait a minute, you've discounted my idea. Let's pick a moment and just explore it for a time limit. You know, like, let's have 30 seconds, and then you can reject my idea. So it's this idea that a fight has to be long this idea that, you know, collaboration has to be painful, the sage, there's all these things that are invisible rules that you've made up in your head, basically, with the help of your peers, and it's worth examining those to see what you is worth keeping. Some of them are absolutely worth keeping. And what's worth rewriting.

Steve Brown 7:59
know those invisibles rules, they can penalize you socially if you don't follow them or you violate them. And yet they're unwritten. But it sure exists, and You sure can pay the penalty for violating them. Well,

Unknown Speaker 8:16
so that's interesting. So yes, and no, both things are true, and depends on what invisible rule we're talking about. And one of the things that has showed up in trainings with teams often is not the same rules, I'm trying to think of a really specific example. But we'll get on your feet will sometimes run people through what we call storyline to sort of get a sense of what their process is from point A to point B on a project. And what this is one of those places where invisible rules really shows up, because what will happen is what we're representing are the different parts of your process physically. So someone's going to stand up and say, Okay, and then x happens, and then they're going to hold the physical line for where that happens. And then the next person is going to add a piece of the process. And what inevitably shows up is Person A thinks x shows up here, but Person B is like, bended. That's not when that happens, right? That's supposed to happen way down here. And that's where invisible rules show up. Like for example, check your assumptions. You're not allowed to check your assumptions, or you shouldn't ask for help. Those types of invisible girls are great to break.

Steve Brown 9:31
Yeah. I call them stupid taxes. They're expensive taxes you pay Yeah, they're like invisible, and they're just stupid. You imagine them employees that, okay, this is your, you're getting ready to go to work the first day at your new job. And in your head, you're going I'm going to be the best employee, I'm going to really make the best of this opportunity. I'm going to do great and so you go in and So what do you do your first year learning the lingo? You're learning the processes you'd like you talked about, you're learning the invisible rules. And the first invisible rule, you run into that stupid, that doesn't make any sense. You think to yourself, well, that's stupid. Why did Oh, I'm sorry, it was gonna be a good employee. I don't want to say that. So you just accepted, but over time that wears you down. And it kills your your motivation? And it's like, how do you? How do you want, get these in open? let's address them, let's talk about them. Let's resolve this so that the culture becomes healthy and happy, the employees like don't run into stupid taxes,

Unknown Speaker 10:45
that right are expensive.

Unknown Speaker 10:48
Now I do, I do want to say that I think creating an environment in which employees can speak up about these things is critical of coming from leadership. It's like leadership has to lead the example on that. And they have to be really open when things show up, I, I knew a lady who had a kind of a robot below her capability. But she had been desperate to take a job. So she took this job. But her habit was to add value wherever she went. And one of the first things she noticed within a couple of months of being there is that a process that they were using, could be sped up. And when she sped up the process, she noticed that the math was wrong on all this stuff, she ended up bringing to her boss, this savings of like $50,000 a month. Now that's not nothing to accompany. And I understand companies run these large budgets, but $50,000 a month, that's not nothing. That's an entire salary for somebody. So that's more than entire salary for somebody that's 12 salaries, that's 12 employees. So she brought this up to them, and they weren't open to it. They were like, Look, we've always done it the way we've done it. And she's like, this is a significant amount of money that you are hemorrhaging. And they were like, we don't we don't want to change wheel when they're stuck in their ways. So I appreciated in her telling me this story that she you know that she noticed something she questioned the invisible rules, just because we've always done it this way, is that the best way to do it. But what she discovered in that process is this wasn't the best place for her to shine. And she's no longer there. So not only did that company end up hemorrhaging that money, still to this day, I assume. But they also lost an incredibly valuable employee who's like trying to make things better for that company. Simply because she's passionate about the type of work that she does. She doesn't care about that company. She cares about doing great work. And I think, you know, companies make this weird leadership, sometimes gets really full of themselves are like our employees love us, because of who we are and what our vision is. And that can be great. But when you have a company that's not representing somebody's ideal dream product, you know, say, I don't know paper milling or waste management or anything that's just seen, it's possible somebody is that passionate about waste management, but it's more likely, they just want to do valuable work. So it's up to leadership to be like, Oh, my gosh, thank you for bringing this to my attention. Let's have a conversation about it and see if we can come to something that helps me feel secure in my processes. So I don't feel foolish but also that I don't hemorrhage cash and lose valuable employees.

Steve Brown 13:47
You know, I've that's so that the logical thing in that situation, she recognized this. All this logic justifies the presentation and acceptance of this. Well, that happens in the sales process as well, when you're like going, this solution would be perfect for you and save you all this money. But yet they say no. Yeah. And if you sit back and go, why did they say no, it's because I didn't address the internal challenge there. What changed? does this represent that makes this person fearful, right to embrace it, and edit? Maybe that was just one of 100 things that person knew about that needed to be changed and I you're going to expose me,

Unknown Speaker 14:38
but when I go ahead, oh, I will. I was just gonna say absolutely. The step that she missed was understanding what they care about. Yes. Right. So so it's up to leadership to be open even when it's outside of your, what you care about. You have your priorities, assuming that your employees understand your priorities. That's a miss. But on the flip side, when you're trying to manage up, you, you should absolutely assume that the person in charge has certain priorities and that you don't know what they are. And you should see if you can understand what that is. When you're presenting your ideas, if you want them to adopt that your ideas, if you're like, this is going to save you lots of money, what you may not understand on their end. And again, I think this is up to leadership to explain, or at least take a minute to try is that in order to change all those processes to save that money, they might have to spend a bunch of money upfront, and they might understand that math, but this employee may not. So it's, it's important to just have that I think that open conversation, you want to keep employees that want to save your company money if you're smart, even if it seems scary. And at the same time, if you are looking at how much it costs, to implement all of those changes, you have to be honest about when you're not going to accept those, those recommendations. I really appreciate you bringing this to me. We'll consider it but I want to be honest with you that this may involve more than you realize. So we may not be able to implement it.

Steve Brown 16:17
You're listening or you're watching a great conversation with Aden Napom. The Art of change calm or his her company. She's also does improv on your feet improv for business. And she has this TED talk that I really enjoyed. But in there you talk about Aiden, fear and joy in this Limbo in between that keeping you from going from fear to joy. Talk to us about that.

Unknown Speaker 16:51
Yeah, thanks for bringing that up. And so I call it limbo. But it's really a place of comfort. It's a place of familiarity. Comfort may be the wrong word, because it can be quite uncomfortable in that place. But what it is, is when you are falling back on your patterns of behavior and, and habits of thought that no longer serve you well, but continue to do them. That's how you end up in that place of limbo, you're afraid of doing things wrong, that you're not going towards the greater joy. And I want to be clear that when it comes to changing these things, it isn't always about like, when I work with my clients, one on one, it isn't always about having a major career change in order to seek your greatest joy. It could be something really small, like your communication with your teammate, as sort of fallen into a pattern of habit and thoughts that don't serve that relationship well, so you're not having effective communication. And you may think that you know what it would take to get past that tough communication, but you're afraid to try it. So you keep doing the thing that isn't working, because it's familiar. So in the TED talk, I tell a very personal story about a really a moment of career change for me. But in this example, it's still is the same thing you want to take a moment and think about, well, what are the moments that do work? What do I like about those? How can I do more of that. And that's basically the gist of it. It's like, in my story, in my TED talk, I talked about a really difficult period in my life. And I was really unsure about how to get out of that, right how to how to find a career that was that I was passionate about. I was floundering. I was doing like a million things, trying to find a fit. I was like, running through the world in a way and that moment, like the little character in the children's book being like, Are you my mommy, are you my career path? Are you my career path? am I passionate about this? I don't even know, you know, so. It's like, super confusing time. And luckily for me, I have a self help bestselling author, father, who applied some of his work with me. And the truth is I grew up with these tools. But if you've ever hired a coach, to help you through a decision, if you've ever worked with a mentor to boost your business, then you know that sometimes even though those answers are here, all along inside, it does often take somebody to point some things out to you to really see them. And that was what my dad told me. He was like, you just keep making safe choices. And if you want reward, you have to take risks. And I was like, What are you talking about? I've been doing all these amazing things. I don't think you could call You know, living a vaudeville style life making safe choices. And at the same time, he was absolutely right. I the safe choice that I was making my habit of thought was if somebody said something was a good idea, I agreed to that. Because somebody was like, you should do rock climbing. I was like, cool, that sounds great. And then I became a rock climber. Somebody was like, You should learn how to play guitar. I was like, cool. So I learned to play guitar. And those things are cool. And I have no regrets about doing that. That's a really fun way to live life. But if you want to get any kind of traction and anything, if you want to have more reward than simply posting, then you have to be a little more intentional. And it was the intentionality that felt risky to me. You with me?

Steve Brown 20:53
Wow. It's like, where we're okay, staying in the comfort that we know. Yeah, instead of risking and uncomfort that we don't know. Right? So that you call it safe, or you were taking safe decisions doing on? rock climbing is not comfortable, there are some things you will discover about yourself in it. But where did you Where do you? Where do you get the energy to dig deep down and like go, alright, I'm going to choose this direction. When when you've been kind of avoiding that?

Unknown Speaker 21:33
Yeah. I, it's, it takes intentionality. It takes a willingness. And it doesn't have to be as hard as you might think the questions that my dad asked me in that conversation are now questions that I use with my clients.

Unknown Speaker 21:53
To be what do you want to be when you grow up?

Unknown Speaker 21:55
Yeah. What are you passionate about? No, not to be fair, I would say that's the worst question. Because if you're in a place of floundering, you're like, I don't know, this is fun. Is that the same as passion? I don't know, I think the questions that are really helpful to ask are, what are you? What are you afraid of? And sometimes that can be a tough one to answer. And, but in my case, it was like, if you are successful, imagine you're successful. And you imagine that your success? Well, if you can't imagine six years on success, what's getting in the way. And in many cases, people's fear of success comes from a place of feeling like they're not deserving, like success belongs to somebody else. Sometimes the idea of success has to be defined in a really specific way. So people say success, but they don't know what it means. So but I don't mean to attaching dollar amounts, because you know, statistically, if you look at research, people who are like, I want to make $150,000, by the end of this month, or this year, in this decade, fail, because money isn't a good driver. You have to be driven by something else. So it's, it's about answering that question of like, if I were to be successful, what does that look like? How would How do I imagine life feeling? Am I capable of getting there and just start there? Going into the future as hard start with right now. Find that intersection of what what do I do that is rewarding that other people seem to be rewarded by? In my case, joy was my biggest driver. So getting into your values, what do you really care about and have some skill set around or have a skill set you could learn?

Steve Brown 24:03
Find? Yeah, I find that one of the barriers there. Okay. So if I'm going to define what success looks like, for me in the future, one of the traps is comparing yourself to someone that's in a aspiring position, but it may not be relevant to you but yet, that's what you're going to measure everything up against, and then it's just pure failure the whole way. And it's, it's the more Oh, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 24:31
No, that's a really good point. comparison is a terrible trap. I can't remember who said it. There's a wonderful quote about you know, people's misery comes from the mistaken understanding that other people are happy. Something, something to that effect. And because you do look at other people and the lives they're living or the rewards that they're getting, and you make a lot of assumptions about what their life must be like. And you don't know. So all you can really think about this. Look, this is the same thing in communication, you make a bunch of assumptions about why somebody did something or said something. And the truth is you don't know. So, and you can't control what other people say. So all you can do is dig into what is happening internally. And when I say define what success looks like, for you, I mean, in an in a sort of artsy, fartsy way I do. I mean, what it what would it feel like? What would the, where would your shoulders live? Would they be inside your ears? If you were successful? Or would your shoulders be down and relax? And, you know, would you feel like you're you're on the treadmill? Would you like making a lot of fast paced moves? Would that feel good? Or would that feel like a slog, so what it what would it feel like in your body to have success? And I think, you know, there's some universal things around like, I wouldn't feel burdened, I would feel like my bases are covered, I could provide for my family, I could have time for my hobbies, but I think getting really specific in that artsy fartsy way of like, What does life feel like, and just allow that to be the dream, as opposed to like, I'm gonna, you know, I know, I'm gonna take a rocket to the moon by 2020. These visions are important if that's your business, but when it comes to internal success and what you care about what your drivers are, that's a different question.

Steve Brown 26:38
I find that. So the word passion, and the word fulfilling are two different things. And I think that where I get energy from is overcoming challenges that give me a sense of accomplishment. And so, you know, our lives. When we say happy, you know, happy is relative happy. Yeah, your dog gets run over something, you're not going to be happy that day. Right? And yeah, and God forbid, but that's, but life happens that way. So, but overcoming the setback, overcoming the Oh, my gosh, we have a lot of work here. But at the end of the year, like, Look, what we accomplished. Look what we did together, look at the communications and the stupid taxes. We eliminated from this process. Right? Yes, fulfilling and it gives you energy. And I think that's where your passion really comes from, in a healthy way?

Unknown Speaker 27:44
Yeah, I would agree with that assessment. I think that makes a ton of sense. And, yeah, I mean, when it comes to these things, I really do think starting small is a really good choice for most people, what are small things that you could do right now I like to dream big. I like to dream into the future that isn't for everybody. Some people need to look at what's happening in this moment right now that I could be doing more of that I could be doing less of that I could stop doing altogether that I could start doing right now. And it doesn't have to be big, and it doesn't have to be lofty. So in my TED talk for me, it was at that time, I was doing improv and what my dad asked me and I asked people, you know, these questions as well, which, what do you like about that? So that was the thing I was doing that was bringing me great joy, and fulfillment. And the question was, what about that is bringing me joy and fulfillment. And it was that I was sharing a moment of joy with people that I was bringing smiles to people's faces that I was getting this like, wash of good energy back in return. And so, you know, identifying that that was what was fulfilling there, and opened up the possibility that I could get more Fulfillment by doing more of whatever that was, it was not obvious to me immediate in any kind of immediate way. How to translate that into my career path. And I think it can be misleading to say that just do more of that and you'll get there eventually. And at the same time, I do advocate that just do more of that thing that is fulfilling and you will get there eventually there's this simultaneous holding on and letting go holding on and letting go. That happens. It's It sounds very Whoo. I probably should get into some kind of spiritual practice at some point, but

Unknown Speaker 29:49
it's, like, you know, it's this weird like balance. So hold on to what you're passionate about. Let go I mean, never happened.

Unknown Speaker 30:00
Be open to possibility of something else. But actually, it's this intentionality of, of wanting to simply create more of that shared level of joy. And thinking about how could I just do more of that? How can I serve people more? How can I bring greater joy to more people. And as I continue doing that, the doors just sort of open opened up around me, you have to be noticing more of an improv practice to notice the offers that show up. And so instead of now, that thing where somebody would be like, you should be in a rock band and be like, Okay, that sounds fun. Instead of that, I now had my eyes open to something really specific. So people weren't always coming to me saying you should do this next. In fact, that kind of stopped for a little bit. Instead, I started saying to myself, Oh, you should do this fact. And then that would open another set of possibilities. So just taking that focus from, okay, I'm just going to do what people tell me or what's expected of me to, I want to create more of this kernel of whatever this is going to be different for you. It's looking for ways to do more of that.

Steve Brown 31:21
It's like you went from waiting to be picked? Yeah, I picked myself. And the problem with people telling you what you should do is they don't understand your backstory or your deep. Why the thing that really drives you, they they see on a roll in a moment, you should Yeah, you know, I get told Steve, you should you should jump off a cliff. And right, I get told that often right? Then they're not understanding my deeper motivations. That will serve me.

Unknown Speaker 31:54

Aden Nepom 31:57
But I'm picturing those conversations happening. That's actually events. Can I buy you a drink? Steve, you should jump off a cliff. But I'm sure that's no eight mean?

Steve Brown 32:09
No, that, no, I've heard that too. But, but I'm, it's funny. But I think that's where, where there's a point in our lives, when we go, Oh, I can, I can actually decide to choose the direction I'm gonna go. I'm the one that sees my work, I should position myself in a place that that is fulfilling that will, will build upon my unique values, right? Instead of waiting for someone to I wish someone would just recognize how valuable I am. In pick me

Unknown Speaker 32:44
Oh, my god, yes, you cannot wait, if somebody isn't recognizing your value, I stand by this so strongly. There are two things that are happening. One is you're not providing the amount of value that you think you're providing the possibility and you should be open to noticing that because that's a possibility. That being said, if it's happening over and over and over again, with that same person, and you know, you're providing value, and you can quantify that you're providing value, you are in the wrong business relationship. And you should move along. I have a lot of folks that I have spoken with and worked with over the years who are in, in go nowhere positions who have been told no countless times to being able to move upward. And rather than being guided along that path or being told what's needed. They're just like, Oh, we just please just get out of my feet. That's just not you're not working together in that relationships not worth investing further in that. Go where you are valued, and then provide value there.

Steve Brown 33:58
Amen, sister. Yeah, listening, or watching Aden Napom. She's the big shot at Art of Change.com. So hidden, what's the one question nobody ever asked that? You wish they would that you could answer it?

Unknown Speaker 34:17
I don't like

Unknown Speaker 34:19
him. Yeah, that's

Unknown Speaker 34:21
a great question. This sounds really good, but it's a really tough one to answer. And Hmm. I feel like people asked me so many questions, and it's something I really enjoyed doing is answering them. So trying to think of a question people don't ask it's a little challenging. I do. I do you wish that people would ask themselves questions more. And I also so this maybe isn't a question about what I wish people would ask me, but I wish that people would ask ask more questions of themselves. And the best question to ask yourself when you don't know what question to ask is, what am I assuming right now? Great question.

Steve Brown 35:13
Explore that with with me What?

Unknown Speaker 35:15
Yeah. So look, this is a great question all kinds of contexts. Let's say you're having right now, I've been leading these free workshops called reason in an outraged world, because I'm really passionate about having the difficult conversations that we need to move towards a better a better future. Instead of having polarizing debate that leads us down a path of mutual destruction. And what am i assuming right now is an incredibly important question to ask yourself, when you find yourself butting heads with somebody? If they are, if you're in a disagreement, ask yourself, What am I assuming right now? Well, some of the things that you might be assuming are about their intent, that's good to notice. So you can assume something different, more helpful. Some of what you're assuming is that they might be evil, which is rarely true. I'm not saying it's impossible, it's just statistically unlikely. So you know, there's a lot of things there, when it comes to and I could go on about that we can dig into it if you like. But I want to give you another example, which is when it comes to your personal path. What am I assuming about me, right now, it might be I'm not, I'm not capable of change. I'm not capable of doing better I don't deserve success. This is me forever and ever and always. And I can prove it. Those are still that's all assumption territory. So I think what am i assuming right now is a really important question that you can ask yourself.

Steve Brown 36:44
I love that. So does the improv. If I was to go, alright, what am I assuming about myself? And then I want to change that assumption. Does that action of improvisation help the brain envision you in a different scenario in the future? Is that what the power of improv offers?

Unknown Speaker 37:09
Maybe I think, I think improvisation Hell yeah, I think it can be helpful along those lines. Like, if I'm one, you know, in a in an improv scene, when I'm teaching improv classes, because I have I do that from time to time. And for performers. And what I'm teaching those classes, the questions that I often encourage them to ask are a little different. It's more like, based on what's exists in the scene so far, if these things are true, what else might be true? So that's, that's another. That's, that's almost opposite to what we're talking about with this, what am I assuming right now? But you could absolutely in an improv scene, ask yourself that question instead and yield interesting results. What am I assuming right now I'm assuming the scene is taking place on planet Earth, nobody has said it's taking place on planet Earth. So I could offer something and give some context to the scene that would change the direction of the scene without changing any of the previously established information. So you could totally do that. I think what improv does for people who, who take Improv Theater and comedy classes or who even just watch a lot of improv shows, I don't think you have to be in improv classes to have your thinking shifted by that style of comedy and theater. And I think what it does for people is that it just opens up the possibility that your instincts are useful and interesting and valuable. It opens up the possibility that you might create something better with somebody else than you would on your own. And it opens up the possibility that anything and everything is a type of offer that you can take and do something with. I think that's what improv does for people.

Steve Brown 39:15
Love that art. For for the folks that are listening are there like, like virtual improv shops that you can attend that you're aware of?

Unknown Speaker 39:25
Oh, yeah, there's tons of improv. So much improv happening online during all of this and so much. I can personally recommend improv classes from Merlyn works. That's where I used to be a faculty member. So I'm definitely biased and making that recommendation. Technically, I am still a faculty member there but I'm not currently personally teaching any improv classes. But one of the cool things that Rowan works is doing right now during this pandemic is they're offering really specific niche classes that are improv, or like improv for Sarah. pis are improv for physicians. And I think having a context where everyone is sharing a sort of professional background in thinking about how they might apply what they're, what they're playing with in class can be really useful for activating your learning. So there's that. There is improv University is another thing worth googling. A friend of mine from Montreal improv, they had closed their physical space, a lot of improv spaces had to close this year. So their physical spaces closed, and he opened up improv University online. So there's a lot of interesting classes happening there. And the hideout theater in Austin, Texas. Actually, Merlin works is also based in Austin. And hideout theater is offering a ton of shows and classes and doing really interesting things online. And I believe curious comedy theater here in Portland is doing the same. I you could probably do a Facebook search, if you're on Facebook, just in improv workshop, and I bet you would get just a ton of events that are open to the public, I guarantee it. And, and I you know, I'm performing once a month as well. So if you want to see an interesting, improvised theater experience, I do an improvised musical sitcom that in the 1950s. With my husband, and another couple, we call ourselves baby improv. And the show is called I love musicals. It's loosely inspired by I Love Lucy. So in addition to helping people process change, communicate more effectively become better leaders, I also do this really super nerdy thing of putting on a costume and making up a musical.

Steve Brown 41:56
If someone wants to work with you, how do they connect with you and, and get mixed up with you?

Unknown Speaker 42:05
Yeah, so go to art of change dot com, you'll find that's a portal to all things Aden Nepom. And currently, as I mentioned, you can I don't know how long I'm going to keep reason in an outraged world free, it will always be the least expensive offering. The only reason I may start charging is because in my experience, people ignore things that are free. They don't value them. So I may charge like the price of a magazine, or something like that, just because I want people to, I want people to take the workshop. The reason I am offering the workshop is because I am passionate about giving this content away, I want people to have these tools to communicate more effectively, it is super important to me. And so if I think more people will enroll by charging, then that's what I'll have to do. But for right now it's free. And you can find that there are other workshops, people can work one on one with me as well. And the other thing I want to encourage people to do, because I just like giving stuff away. That would be like at some point, you have to charge money eight and I'm like, I don't know, we'll test that theory. Um, but listen to the changed podcast, you'll it's not specific to business. It is specific to how people think about change. And I think in listening to the stories of the guests that I have on that show, you'll find source of his sources of inspiration, you'll tap into a fork in the road moments in your own life and remember those outcomes and how you're affected by the choices that you make. And I think there are always interesting takeaways. And every once in a while I throw in a tool at the end of an episode that I think will help people process something better.

Steve Brown 43:55
And that's the changed pod podcast.

Aden Nepom 43:58
That's the changed podcast

Steve Brown 44:00
changed. So get changed.

Unknown Speaker 44:04

Unknown Speaker 44:05
so those are the ways to work with me.

Steve Brown 44:07
The Art of change dot com

Unknown Speaker 44:09
so those are the ways to get things for free for me is what I just told.

Steve Brown 44:12
You get it for free. You just sign up and pay a little bit so you can have it for free.

Unknown Speaker 44:18
That's right, the change podcast is you know, it's out there. It's everywhere that you listen and and right now reason in an outraged world is free.

Steve Brown 44:28
Yeah. And valuable.

Unknown Speaker 44:31
It's incredibly valuable. If you are tired of having these banging your head against a wall conversations with people. The tools in that workshop will have you help you have meaningful conversations with people that you disagree with. That is the point of the workshop. And the tools were developed in a business context. So they are, in my opinion, essential leadership skills. But at the end of 2020 I was tired of Witnessing my friends relationships with each other crumble. And I realized that I had a second set of tools that were really effective in helping people communicate through disagreements collaborate more effectively in the workplace. And I went, Oh, right. This totally works outside the workplace too. So that's it's applicable in both settings. Come get it. It will help you lead better. It'll help you collaborate at work better. It'll help you interact with human beings you love and care about better.

Steve Brown 45:32
What a great way to tie a knot on a great episode. Aden you've been an awesome guests on the ROI online podcast.

Unknown Speaker 45:40
Thank you, Steve.

Unknown Speaker 45:40
You've been an awesome host fun talking with you.

Steve Brown 45:43
I've enjoyed it. I'm, I, I think I want to do some improv in one of your classes or something. So yeah, you

Unknown Speaker 45:52
should. I mean, I don't know when I'm going to offer. I may offer an improv class at some point because I do really enjoy teaching and privates have such a really fun thing to to give people. There's a little bit of improv and everything I teach, I use it to activate other communication tools, but specifically improv training is its own unique special thing and I do recommend it.

Steve Brown 46:18
There you go Well, thanks Aden that's a wrap.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai