Leadership and Personal Development is an introductory course in the theory and application of
improvisational techniques to business communication situations. This course explores the broad
principles of improvisation, a performing art form that has developed pedagogical methods to enhance
individual spontaneity, listening and awareness, expressive skills, risk-taking, and one’s ability to make
authentic social and emotional connections. In particular, this course strives to develop students’ business
communication leadership skills and increase both interpersonal intuition and confidence.
Specific topics include (1) introduction to improvisational theory, (2) speaking compellingly, (3)
listening and awareness, (4) emotional intelligence, and (5) status and influence. In all of these topic
areas the emphasis will be on applied business communications.
Lectures and discussions will comprise approximately one-third of each session. In-class interactive
exercises will comprise the remainder, giving students considerable opportunity to strengthen their own
improvisational, in-the-moment decision making skill set. Additional role-plays will provide practice
applying class material to realistic managerial communication situations. Readings and outside
assignments will supplement each unit.