By Beth Boynton
When I teach Medical Improv, what I’m really teaching are ‘soft’ skills! The improv is basically an effective strategy for teaching them.
Sometimes I get asked, “What are they?" It is a great question!
Emotional intelligence, interactive, people, relationship, and social skills all come under the umbrella of ‘soft skills’.
Some of these factors involve skills, like listening and assertiveness, yet many involve human awareness, feelings and behaviors. And when we start getting into these areas, things get a little more tricky, right? They are inter-related, vary among us, and are influenced by almost infinite variables i.e. the weather, being tired, other people’s behavior, and the cultures we work in.
Anything that impacts how we feel and behave, individually and organizationally is likely to influence our ‘soft’ skills. This is why they are challenging to teach.
It is also why Medical Improv is such an exciting teaching tool. Different people learn different things at the same time playing the same activity! In the activity Same Time Story, for example, one person is practicing speaking up while the other is practicing listening. And it is no small thing that they are having fun and building their relationship too.
What are some examples of ‘Soft’ Skills?
Here is a list that I’ve developed over the years and am often updating with input from participants:
What would you add to this list now that you get the general idea? Are there any ‘soft’ skills you are working on?
Do you have any thoughts on how these skills are related to patient safety, patient experience, or workforce health?
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