Get Off Script! The Improvisation Mindset with Shannon Hughes
Play • 34 min


  • Shannon’s background and experience
  • Starting up Enlivened Studios
  • Improvisational Mindset in Entrepreneurship
  • The concept of “yes, and”
  • Collaboration in improvisation mindset
  • Importance of Improvisation in communicating as an entrepreneur
  • Shannon’s tips on Improvising
  • Applying conversational facilitation on online platforms
  • Deep thoughts on Tandem Talks (Special portion)


Shannon: “Improv is highly structured and highly rehearsed. And so, there are a number of concepts that performers practice. One of them that most people are familiar with is the concept of “yes, and” which doesn't always mean agree, yes actually means to receive and to witness and to accept what's been offered.”

Shannon: “When you think about that, on a stage, right, two people have to collaborate in order to build something from nothing. And, and when you take “yes, and” into a collaborative environment, magic can happen.”

Shannon: “Get curious, because people love to tell their own stories. And if you can lean in with curiosity, and start to and I don't want to overuse the word human, but humanize the people that are in the room, ask them for their own personal stories. See, if you can engage at a level that will take a little bit of the air out of the balloon.”

Shannon: “Don't forget, you can break the fourth wall. You know, you don't need to be the sage on the stage, right? You can also be the person who is saying, Does this resonate with you? How do we feel? Do we want to go in a different direction here? How's everybody doing? Do we need a break? Like what are ways that we can quote unquote, break that fourth wall to make the room more of a collective versus me behind a pedestal telling you what I know?”

Shannon: “As a facilitator, I always say connect early connect often. So how can you if you are the meeting owner? How can you get people maybe into a breakout room for five minutes at the front end and give them a simple game? Like, “hey, you have five minutes to find three, you know, three things in common, go” or two truths and a lie. You know, how can you have a little bit of fun at the front end so that people come back and have connected with somebody so that they have a true north they can go back to if they get a little bit? They lose their footing in the meeting”

Shannon: “I put myself into rooms with people that are a couple steps ahead of me. Because there's always something to learn.”

Carrie: “Well, it's nice to have people modeling that balance, I think too. But at the end of the day, we do kind of have to trust that inner voice and turn up the volume on a bit because even if we have good models of it, like we're still living with ourselves every day”

Carrie: “When you start a business like life doesn't stop, like the roller coaster doesn't stop life keeps going. But that's where I think that intuitive piece of it all is, is even more important because you don't have an employer saying you have to do this by this date. It's like, everyday like you're the boss.”

Shannon: “Just remember what your vision and your mission is, rather than appealing to what you think might be needed.”

Shannon: “Don't ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (a quote from Howard Thurman)

You can find out more about Shannon in the links below: 

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