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  • Tips on how to get or keep a job using skills from the acting trade
  • No joke: Learning improv can help in any field
    Tips on how to get or keep a job using skills from the acting trade
    By Amy Hoak

    Chicago's Second City is known as a training ground for comedic actors, but it also offers improv classes to Corporate America. Lesson No. 1: Learning how to listen, a necessary skill in improvisation -- and business.

    Real-world skills

    These are skills that business schools don't always teach.

    Crash course
    1. Listen up
    Practice better listening skills by concentrating on the person speaking and not what you're going to say next...

    2. Be flexible
    The ability to go with the flow is important whether you're supporting members of a team or making a good impression in an interview....

    3. Know yourself
    Go into an interview knowing stories from your past that illustrate certain qualities or lessons learned. Create a value statement about yourself -- what you're bringing to the table regardless of the company -- and weave the ideas into an interview conversation....

    4. Pay attention to body language
    Have friends or family critique your body language for cues on how interviewers and business associates view you....

    5. Find common ground
    It's important to make connections, even if it's something as simple as where you went to school or your favorite sports team. Identifying common ground goes a long way to establishing trust and building rapport, whether in creating a scene with another actor or talking with a potential boss during an interview....

    ......
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