I Wish I Had a Goat — Evil HR Lady

I Wish I Had a Goat — Evil HR Lady

Sometimes, the universe hands you the perfect thing that you need at the moment.

Sometimes, it hands you the worst possible thing.

Regardless, you can’t give up. You have to keep going.

Improv is all about “yes, anding” whatever life throws at you instead of sitting down and crying. (Although, to be fair, crying is allowed in improv. Crying is allowed in real life. You can cry as you move forward.)

When life hands you the right thing

Last night, in my beginning improv class, we played one of my favorite games. For this one, the audience (or, in our case, the class members) wrote down three or four short sentences, phrases, or words that they would like their fellow class members to say.

Then, each person does a short presentation on a topic chosen by the audience. Every 10 seconds or so, the presenter takes one of the sentences at random and has to insert it into the presentation.

The topics ranged from teeth to purple clouds to scarves to homosexuality in animals.

Now that last one is a doozy, but Rachana Soni knocked it out of the park. Here’s a clip of her 100 percent improvised speech. She learned her topic about 3 seconds before she started speaking and she had no idea what would be on the slip of paper.

Talk about a perfect phrase! Sometimes when you need a goat, you get a goat.

But more important than getting the right phrase is doing the right thing with it after. Notice how she “yes, and”-ed the heck out of it. “Well, you understand how it works–when you are close to animals…”

It’s the “yes, and” that is important

Sometimes, however, people get handed the right thing and they don’t “yes, and” it. They make an assumption that whatever it is, it wouldn’t work anyway, and so they reject it.

Have you done this in your life? For instance:

  • You meet someone who could be very helpful in your career and never reach out again.
  • Your boss asks if anyone would like to serve on a committee that will be highly visible to top leadership. You wait too long to respond, so your coworker gets the job.
  • You have a great idea for a business venture but don’t follow through because you don’t know how to start a business.
  • You see a great job posting but don’t apply because it would be a stretch position for you.

These are all great opportunities. Goats that life hands you in the right moment. And you can either build on it or let it go.

For goodness’ sake, people, don’t pass up a good goat.

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