Team Building Through Improvisation


1-day and 2-day Trainings tailored to your organization’s needs

What is Rehearsals for Growth (RfG)?

Derived from theater improvisation, RfG is a highly-developed method of role-play that trains people to choose alternatives to their habitual ways of behaving in the present moment. RfG promotes confidence, social skills, and flexibility by exploring and expanding the limits of “who else you can be” instead of directing attention to “who you are.” A group of training managers who participated in an RfG demonstration described these techniques as “effective,” “fun,” and “innovative.”

The interactive RfG methods teach the following principles of good interpersonal functioning:

  • Accepting offers (input from others)
  • Giving up overcontrol
  • Thinking “on your feet”
  • Giving and receiving support
  • Attending to relationship, not personality
  • (looking at the group as a system)
  • Making others look good
  • Attending to power transactions
  • Experimenting with non-habitual behaviors and roles
  • Being willing to take chances


RfG methods are brief, tested, interactive exercises requiring no prior experience or skills, which are presented along with discussion and didactic segments. RfG role-plays often go beyond realistic simulations. RfG draws on a pool of over two hundred tested exercises.

This workshop addresses the problem of Intra-team conflict or only superficial cooperation, where teamwork breaks down in crises and members do not make efforts to enhance one another’s performance.

RfG Skills training sessions are conducted with a presently-functioning work team to foster partnership. Partnership is present when:

  1. Team members engage in mutual, cooperative interaction that enhances all individuals’ performance simultaneously.
  2. The team shares an attitude of willingness to be responsible for self AND for the team.
  3. Team members are mutually willing to make all team relationships work.
  4. Team members actively engage in supporting one another through demonstrating and revealing the truth of whatever works and doesn’t work, both with respect to instrumental tasks and relationships.
  5. There is respect for and appreciation of each member’s differences.

In order to attain partnership, team members learn Accepting offers. To accept offers means to build on the input of others. Full accepting results in aligning oneself with others and leads to partnership, improved team cohesiveness, and strengthened team problem-solving.

To not accept offers (called “blocking”) means to oppose the influence of others. Blocking is a way in which persons limit the influence of others and maintain their power to keep distance from others. Under stress, people are more likely to block offers.

In realistic situations, one can emotionally accept fully the offers of others while blocking their content, thus allowing for constructive criticism and differences of opinion. Open disagreement is constructive to both team functioning and the relationship among team members when it arises out of a partnership context of mutual support.