I often spend time with a new client connecting the dots between live theater and business and interpersonal communication...
The suite of skills needed to deliver a successful theatrical enterprise are the same ones required to deliver effective and memorable human interactions.
Though the connection between communications and theater can be apparent, there is another non-traditional practice that is equally as relevant and enlightening: role-playing games.
Dungeons & Dragons is the most recognized, but there are literally bazzilions of them.
Once relegated to the (sometimes true) stereotype of lonely adolescents in their parent's basement, RPGs are rapidly becoming more common in traditional pop culture. This is partly due to their inclusion in popular movies and television like Stranger Things, and also because now the kids who played them 40 years have a basement and kids of their own and are sharing their joy with the new generation. As of this writing, the Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook is #8 of Amazon's all time best sellers list. It has spent a lot of time at #1. Best sellers! Not just the nerd section.
So, what do dungeons and cowboys and star ships and anime and cyberpunk have to do with communications? I will change only one part of the quote from above.
The suite of skills needed to deliver a successful Role Playing Game are the same ones required to deliver effective and memorable human interactions.
It's true. Teachers, writers, team-builders, 7-step programs, therapists and communicators of all kinds are realizing (much later than their 12 year old selves) the these kinds of games require team work, problem solving, creativity, mutual support and many other important life skills (like statistics and probabilities, but we won’t go into that.)
If you want more information on what RPGs look like at the table top level, listen to my new podcast, Yes and Dragons.
Life and communications isn't a game, especially when negotiating a salary or presenting a scientific thesis. But, we could learn a little bit from our childhood and remember that whether we're in a fantasy world or the real one a little creativity and collaboration goes a long way.