47 episodes

Every week Eran Thomson takes one word suggested by you and uses it as a leaping off point to explore the benefits of improv and how they can help you perform better in both your personal and professional life. Produced by PowerProv (fka LMA Professional Development), this thought-provoking three-minute podcast is, in a word: inspiring.

onewordsuggestion.substack.com

One Word Suggestion - Improv Inspiration Eran Thomson

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Every week Eran Thomson takes one word suggested by you and uses it as a leaping off point to explore the benefits of improv and how they can help you perform better in both your personal and professional life. Produced by PowerProv (fka LMA Professional Development), this thought-provoking three-minute podcast is, in a word: inspiring.

onewordsuggestion.substack.com

    One Word Suggestion: Dolphins

    One Word Suggestion: Dolphins

    Welcome to One Word Suggestion
    Hosted by: Eran ThomsonThis week's word is: Dolphins
    * Listen on Google Podcasts | Apple Podcasts
    * Suggest a word
    * Follow on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter
    * Read on Medium
    * Learn more at Powerprov
    * Connect with Eran: Personal Website | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin
    * Book a workshop

    Learn more:
    PowerProvPowerProv Improv Training for Business Teams powerprov.com.auLaugh-Masters AcademyAustralia's Home of Improv and Sketch Comedylaugh-masters.com.au

    Show notes:
    Links:
    * Eran Thomson on The Light Inside podcast with Jeffrey Besecker

    This podcast is intentionally short and sweet, so don't expect too much from the notes. We will, of course, share links and details of things discussed in individual episodes as appropriate - and that's about it. The main thing to know is every episode of this show starts with a one-word suggestion, and there's no reason the next one couldn’t come from you.As long as its not "dildo."
    Transcript:
    Dolphins are widely agreed to be one of the most intelligent species on the planet. Anyone who's seen the TV show "Flipper" knows that their level of individual intellect - and sense of humor - is high.
    They have been known to save the lives of other animals and stranded swimmers, they know how to use shells and sea sponges as tools, and they've even run secret missions for the US Navy.
    But part of what makes dolphins so super smart is they almost always choose to hang out in pods. Like experienced improvisers, they understand that together they have a better chance of thriving and surviving.
    By having each other's backs (or dorsal fins as the case may be) and supporting each other in their own undersea world.
    As a group, they can find more fish, warn each other about predators in nearby waters, and when necessary, find safe harbor.
    Most of the time when we see dolphins they're surfing waves with glee. Or enjoying a feeding frenzy amongst a pool of less fortunate fish. Or showing strong leadership skills at the bow of a boat.
    Despite the ever-increasing number of threats to their existence like plastics, petroleum, JetSkis, ghost nets, and hungry sharks, they continually play to the top of their intelligence.
    Above the sea, we humans have our own challenges. So what can we learn from Dolphins?
    We're better when we work together - good communication and collaboration skills are critical.
    We're better when we learn together - sharing knowledge, experience and expertise without ego is key.
    We're better when we play together - unstructured adult playtime is critical to our happiness and success.
    And if we get good at these things, we'll thrive together - by supporting each other's actions, choices, and ideas.
    The life of a dolphin may look playful and carefree, but under the waves, they tackle daily challenges just like we do. But by arguably having an improvisational ensemble mindset they vastly increase their odds of survival and success as a species.
    Predators and problems will always be round, but by using their collaborative powers dolphins are able to navigate through the sea of life and arrive in their happy place.
    And so can you.
    Thanks for all the fish.

    ---The ideas, observations, and perspectives shared here are mine alone. I’d love to hear yours in the comments, or better yet in a review.
    ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit onewordsuggestion.substack.com

    • 4 min
    One Word Suggestion: Candy

    One Word Suggestion: Candy

    Welcome to One Word Suggestion
    Hosted by: Eran ThomsonThis week's word is: Candy
    * Listen on Google Podcasts | Apple Podcasts
    * Suggest a word
    * Follow on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter
    * Read on Medium
    * Learn more at Powerprov
    * Connect with Eran: Personal Website | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin
    * Book a workshop

    Learn more:
    PowerProvPowerProv Improv Training for Business Teams powerprov.com.auLaugh-Masters AcademyAustralia's Home of Improv and Sketch Comedylaugh-masters.com.au


    Show notes:
    This podcast is intentionally short and sweet, so don't expect too much from the notes. We will, of course, share links and details of things discussed in individual episodes as appropriate - and that's about it. The main thing to know is every episode of this show starts with a one-word suggestion, and there's no reason the next one couldn't come from you.As long as it’s not "dildo."
    Transcript:
    When it comes to candy, things can go from good to gross real fast.
    Halloween is proof of this. And some of us (ahem) have to learn the same lesson every year. Too much of a sweet thing corrupts.
    I'll buy an entire bag of mini Snickers and demolish the entire thing before any of the kids I bought it for come around in costume.
    I don't feel bad for them. They got bag loads of candy. I feel bad for me. Because now I have to do something good and healthy, fast, like yoga or hitting the gym to offset the inevitable belly bulge.
    The challenge is to not stop off at the store and get a new bag on the way home.
    Because one of the things I love the most about the candy aisle is the diversity of choice. So many flavours, coatings, crunches, nuts, fillings, shapes, sizes, colours. It can be overwhelming to see them all sitting there. Sometimes you know exactly what you're looking for, other times making a choice can be hard.
    One thing is for sure, just as there are endless types of candy, they are also endless types of people who love it. And love it differently. We all have different tastes formed by our unique cultural experiences and differences.
    You love Violet Crunch? I think it tastes like Styrofoam. I like Reese's peanut butter cups. You might think they taste like waxy sludge. But there are enough people who like them both to keep them stocked on shelves around the world.
    Because every candy bar has something unique to offer the world. Just like the people who consume them.
    The trick is to get good at appreciating and understanding the differences. (Almost Joy's got nuts, Mounds don't.) Then you can start to make informed choices. But until you've tried all the flavours, you can't assume you know or understand what each candy is all about.
    The same goes for the people you work with every day. Sure some of them might be sweet and easy to enjoy spending time with. And others might be a bit sour and less to your liking, but they all have something unique to offer.
    This is never more clear to me than in every single improv class ever. Without fail, every class starts with strangers and ends with best friends. Because improv creates a safe space where people can reveal their authentic selves. And authenticity is the sweetest of all human traits.
    So look for the sweetness in yourself and each other. And if you need help, an improv workshop can create a safe space where you and all your staff can discover, appreciate, and enjoy all the different personalities in your office. And just about everywhere else.
    Except maybe the dentist.
    ---The ideas, observations, and perspectives shared here are mine alone. I’d love to hear yours in the comments, or better yet in a review.

    ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit onewordsuggestion.substack.com

    • 4 min
    One Word Suggestion: Taxes

    One Word Suggestion: Taxes

    Welcome to One Word Suggestion
    Hosted by: Eran ThomsonThis week's word is: Taxes
    * Listen on Google Podcasts | Apple Podcasts
    * Suggest a word
    * Follow on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter
    * Read on Medium
    * Learn more at Powerprov
    * Connect with Eran: Personal Website | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin
    * Book a workshop


    Learn more:
    PowerProvPowerProv Improv Training for Business Teams powerprov.com.auLaugh-Masters AcademyAustralia's Home of Improv and Sketch Comedylaugh-masters.com.au


    Show notes:
    Links:
    * https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2019/05/09/the-cost-of-turnover-can-kill-your-business-and-make-things-less-fun/?sh=487530067943

    This podcast is intentionally short and sweet, so don't expect too much from the notes. We will, of course, share links and details of things discussed in individual episodes as appropriate - and that's about it. The main thing to know is every episode of this show starts with a one-word suggestion, and there's no reason the next one couldn’t come from you.As long as its not "dildo."

    Transcript:
    The wealthiest man in the world, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, allegedly paid zero tax in 2020.
    But rich people don't pay less tax because they're cheaters. They pay less because they know how to play the game.
    Or at least their accountants do. Navigating the ever-changing and complicated world of tax law is a full-time job. So if you've got the money, it makes sense to hire someone to help you keep more of it, legally
    Whether this is fair is another story. The point is, you have to know the rules before you can take advantage of them.
    In business this applies to profit as well as to your most valuable asset of all, people.
    The basic rules of human behavior around communication, collaboration, teamwork, listening, and building on each other's ideas, can be almost as complicated as tax law.
    But once you have a clear understanding of how things can work, unforetold riches abound.
    And one of the best ways to grow your people is to train them in the art of improvisation. Hiring an improv trainer is like hiring a good accountant. The best ones will help you make more, save more and keep more of what (or who) you already have.
    These days unhappy staff are less likely to revolt and more likely to quit. And when they go your IP goes out the door with them, no matter how good an NDA they may have signed.
    And the cost to replace them is high, as much as 33% of their salary on average, and over 150% in some C-suite instances.
    Advertising, recruiting, interviewing, screening, hiring, onboarding, and training add up.
    But the cultural cost can be even higher. Whenever someone leaves, others take time to ask why. And if things start to snowball, it can be disastrous.
    The bottom line is improv training can improve your bottom line. Especially when everyone from the top down participates.
    And it will make work more fun for everyone. Yes, I know "fun" may not be your main objective, but happy employees are more healthy, productive, creative, and collaborative.
    The labor market is tight and employee retention has never been more important. Building a fun and functional workplace will help attract talent, keep talent, and reduce your productivity tax.
    Navigating the ever-changing and complicated world of humans, especially humans that work together is a full-time job. So if you've got the money, it makes sense to hire someone to help you keep more of it, legally.
    There are lots of companies who claim their business workshops are the best. But if you want real results you can see on your balance sheet, and you don't want to set your company up as a "double Irish with a Dutch sandwich," PowerProv is a great place to start.

    ---The ideas, observations, and perspectives shared here are mine alone. I’d love to hear yours in the comments, or better yet in a review.
    ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to b

    • 4 min
    One Word Suggestion: Election

    One Word Suggestion: Election

    Welcome to One Word Suggestion
    Hosted by: Eran ThomsonThis week's word is: Election
    * Listen on Google Podcasts | Apple Podcasts
    * Suggest a word
    * Follow on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter
    * Read on Medium
    * Learn more at Powerprov
    * Connect with Eran: Personal Website | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin
    * Book a workshop

    Learn more:
    PowerProvPowerProv Improv Training for Business Teams powerprov.com.auLaugh-Masters AcademyAustralia's Home of Improv and Sketch Comedylaugh-masters.com.au


    Show notes:
    Links:
    * George Bush: Fool me once (https://youtu.be/JhmdEq3JhoY?t=111)
    * Donald Trump's 30,000+ lies: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-fact-checker-tracked-trump-claims/2021/01/23/ad04b69a-5c1d-11eb-a976-bad6431e03e2_story.html
    This podcast is intentionally short and sweet, so don't expect too much from the notes. We will, of course, share links and details of things discussed in individual episodes as appropriate - and that's about it. The main thing to know is every episode of this show starts with a one-word suggestion, and there's no reason the next one couldn’t come from you.As long as its not "dildo."

    Transcript:
    When George Bush Junior was elected President of the United States, I was in Bali, happy to be far away as political power was passing from father to son.
    On the day after the election, I was in a cab headed to meet a friend for breakfast. And as one often does, found myself discussing politics with my driver.
    I shared that I was surprised by the election results to which the cabbie responded, "the whole world understands. Most countries have leaders who do not represent the needs, wants or wishes of their nation's people."
    He went on, "but if America elects him to a second term, you will lose the respect of the world."
    Fool me twice hey?
    My Balinese driver was right. In recent years, America has, by many accounts become less of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
    In fact, the "people" doing best in America these days aren't people at all. They're corporations with the same legal rights as people. And as such they have lobbied and bought their way into politics and elections, putting profits before people and planet.
    Factor in social media meddling and the odd bit of kompromat and the election discourse can quickly devolve into a meaningless mess. Love him or hate him, Trump is proof of this.
    When I wrote this Trump had just become the first US president to be impeached twice, COVID 19 was and still is on a killing spree, and the planet is in peril. Now more than ever we need elected officials who can bring people together. Who can work together. And who can make meaningful and fast change.
    Most governments, I hope we'd agree, should strive to make the world a better, easier, and happier place for their people. To create communities where everyone can thrive, contribute meaningfully, and reach their fullest potential. And at the very least, feel safe.
    But the mechanisms required to keep any form of government in place, in power, and operating in the interests of the people, or at least pretending to, are complex and often confusing.
    And if you look around the globe, you may observe that most elected officials don't appear to be doing a very good job.
    Representation of the people by the people, for the people, is a withering ideal. And in many parts of the planet, the concept has yet to even sprout.
    The need for personal power and control is so strong, it all too frequently usurps common sense, and prevents politicians from putting aside their differences and working together for the common good.
    One solution might be to teach the skills of communication and collaboration early. Make learning to say "Yes, and" as important as learning the Pledge of Allegiance. Make learning to listen a requirement for high-school graduation. And ingrain the idea that "We" is always more powerful than "Me."
    These are some of the basic takeaways of improvisation training. Am I c

    • 6 min
    One Word Suggestion: Tickles

    One Word Suggestion: Tickles

    Welcome to One Word Suggestion
    Hosted by: Eran ThomsonThis week's word is: Tickles
    * Listen on Google Podcasts | Apple Podcasts
    * Suggest a word
    * Follow on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter
    * Read on Medium
    * Learn more at Powerprov
    * Connect with Eran: Personal Website | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin
    * Book a workshop

    Learn more:
    PowerProvPowerProv Improv Training for Business Teams powerprov.com.auLaugh-Masters AcademyAustralia's Home of Improv and Sketch Comedylaugh-masters.com.au
    Show notes:
    Links:
    * BBC Article
    * Wikipedia
    This podcast is intentionally short and sweet, so don't expect too much from the notes. We will, of course, share links and details of things discussed in individual episodes as appropriate - and that's about it. The main thing to know is every episode of this show starts with a one-word suggestion, and there's no reason the next one couldn’t come from you.As long as its not "dildo."

    Transcript:
    Do you like being tickled?
    Turns out people are pretty evenly divided on the subject. One-third hate it, another third are meh, and a third are really into it.
    But what's the point of humans being ticklish if two-thirds of people just don't like being touched that way?
    One theory is that it's a way for us to learn self-defenses from a young age. some of the most ticklish places on the body also happen to be the most vulnerable areas during hand-to-hand combat. So ticklishness might confer an evolutionary advantage designed to help us protect our vital organs.
    But no matter how good one might get at fighting off fists and feathers, there have been times throughout history when tickling was intentionally used as torture.
    The Chinese reserved tickle torture as punishment for nobility since it left no marks and a victim could recover relatively easily and quickly. The Japanese would allegedly dip victim's feet in salt water and let goats lick them. And the Nazis used goose feathers to tickle their unfortunate prisoners.
    Even my parents were tickle torturers. When I was a kid they used to hold me down and tickle me as punishment. They called it the "Hermie Fermie," and even though I was laughing, I hated it. A spanking might have been preferred.
    For this reason, I got good at turning my ticklishness off. Which at least one girlfriend has been less than impressed by. Why? Because aside from torture, tickles can be a playful, fun, and even sexy way to make a connection.
    Even if we don't want tickles, we crave connection, not just in the bedroom, but everywhere. Perhaps most of all where we spend most of our time. At work.
    I'm definitely not suggesting you go around tickling people at the office. But there are lots of little ways you can make meaningful, and even playful connections with your colleagues.
    The easiest way to start is not with a feather but with your eyes - eye contact.
    Another one that can take more practice than you might think is listening.
    A third is learning to laugh at your mistakes and embrace failure as an opportunity to move forward together with your team.
    And guess what? PowerProv's fun team building workshops will help you and your colleagues get great at all three.
    Our specially trained facilitators will deliver a workshop filled with tools, ideas, insights and of course laughter. No feather required.
    ---The ideas, observations, and perspectives shared here are mine alone. I’d love to hear yours in the comments, or better yet in a review.
    ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit onewordsuggestion.substack.com

    • 4 min
    One Word Suggestion: Batteries

    One Word Suggestion: Batteries

    Welcome to One Word Suggestion
    Hosted by: Eran ThomsonThis week's word is: Batteries
    * Listen on Google Podcasts | Apple Podcasts
    * Suggest a word
    * Follow on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter
    * Read on Medium
    * Learn more at Powerprov
    * Connect with Eran: Personal Website | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin
    * Book a workshop

    Learn more:
    PowerProvPowerProv Improv Training for Business Teams powerprov.com.auLaugh-Masters AcademyAustralia's Home of Improv and Sketch Comedylaugh-masters.com.au

    Show notes:

    This podcast is intentionally short and sweet, so don't expect too much from the notes. We will, of course, share links and details of things discussed in individual episodes as appropriate - and that's about it. The main thing to know is every episode of this show starts with a one-word suggestion, and there's no reason the next one couldn’t come from you.As long as its not "dildo."


    Transcript:
    This suggestion actually came in a few weeks ago, but I saved it up for today because we have some news. This podcast has, up until this episode, been brought to you by LMA Professional Development - Australia's best improv-based corporate training.
    But, LMA recently rebranded to PowerProv, and so, you know. Batteries. Power... you get the idea. So if you're a long time listener, or just checking out your first episode, head on over to powerprov.com to see all the fun team building activities on offer, including new online workshops for business teams.
    And with that, let's get back to "batteries."
    In this modern age, it's easier than ever to learn how to do just about anything and everything. Just Google a how-to guide, find a tutorial on YouTube, or sign up for Skillshare. And there are a hundred more ways to learn and develop a new capability.
    But just because you can doesn't always mean you should. Learning to do everything on your own takes time, energy, and definitely drains your batteries.
    These days we tend to wear fatigue, stress, and busy-ness as a badge. But all it really means is we're not using our personal power wisely, and perhaps have become powerless to focus on what we really want to do or change that deserves our attention and energy.
    Instead, I suggest you find the thing or things you're great at, and focus on those. Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach calls this your "Unique Ability."
    Focus energy on your positive strengths, not your negative weaknesses. To do this effectively it helps to have other people around you with different strengths and unique abilities.
    Even people who appear outwardly to be successful solo mavericks have teams of people collaborating and contributing their power to a shared common goal.
    Bill Gates didn't make the worlds most famous operating system alone. Elon Musk isn't on the factory floor wielding a wrench. And Zuckerberg could not have built the shittiest social media platform without thousands of helpers choosing to give their energy to his disappointing vision.
    The point is real power is collective power. When you work together as an ensemble you really are stronger.
    So remember, how you spend your power or energy is important. Who you spend it with is important. And what you spend it on is important. Don't deplete your batteries by focusing on the wrong things.
    To quote Dan Sullivan again, ask yourself who, not how. Who can help you get things done, instead of how you can get it done, or how you can learn something new to get it done yourself.
    No matter how big your goal, learning to work with your team, to communicate and collaborate effectively, will make you more powerful. Like an entire field full of Tesla batteries.
    And nothing recharges your communication and collaboration skills like PowerProv's fun team building activities.
    ---The ideas, observations, and perspectives shared here are mine alone. I’d love to hear yours in the comments, or better yet in a review.
    ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss

    • 4 min

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