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Leading with presence

Lead with clarity, flexibility and greater sense of poise.

Learn to lead with more presence & connection in the moment.

The best leaders feel like they are really with you in the moment. This can change how you feel and inspire you to do your best work.

Leading with presence can look easy and effortless, but it takes practice.

The art of improvisation offers a radical way of developing this practice. The skills and mindset improvisers use on stage are powerful tools for personal growth and professional development that can help you:

– stay present and focused even when you feel uncertain or afraid
navigate uncertainty with courage instead getting lost in thought
let go of perfectionism so you can embrace what’s happening
build collaborative and influential teams where creative and reflective thinking go hand-in-hand

Over the course of this workshop you’ll find yourself building confidence, enhancing your communication skills, and unlocking ways of navigating the world with more presence and ease.

And with all the challenges we face right now, the ability to be be here & now is the bedrock of success in any field. Being here & now is a practice based on a process of self-discovery, and by exploring how you interact with others moment-by-moment, you’ll learn new ways of showing up day-to-day.

Self-leadership workshop in the woods

Experiential learning

We learn best through personal experience, in relationship with others – so our approach to professional development is immersive and highly interactive. You’ll learn by doing and we’ll make plenty of time to reflect on what’s coming up and explore the kind of skills, habits and mindsets we want to cultivate.

We use activities from the world of ‘applied’ improvisation that have been adapted for training in the workplace. These activities bring you into the present moment like nothing else, and the learning runs deep. It’s not about improv comedy or being funny, it’s about playful experimentation and practice (lots of practice).

Our style is playful and creative because being serious is usually a barrier to learning. We keep you engaged and involved because when we fall into a ‘teaching trance’ we miss the possibilities for personal growth and change. When there’s lightness and laughter in the room, shared presence emerges, and you can be sure people are paying attention, remembering learning.

Programme content

On the full-day workshop, participants will:

  • Experience the sense of connection and clarity that comes from being here & now
  • Acquire tools for staying centred to handle ‘low-grade stress’ and listen more effectively
  • Use effective techniques for balancing inner awareness and the outer flow of attention
  • Understand the impact of connection and disconnection in leading and following
  • Learn skills, habits and behaviours that support generous, open presence
  • Practice using co-creative skills for navigating times of uncertainty
  • Apply the practice of including others in your personal space

Get in touch to talk about bringing this training to your group, team or organisation.

Who is it for?

Leadership is not a position or simply a title, it’s a choice. This workshop is suitable for anyone making the choices to lead and follow change in their team, group, organisation or community. There is great value in this programme for experienced leaders as well as managers/team leaders in the earlier stages of their career.

Delivery options

This is available as bespoke training, or ‘off-the-shelf’ as:

  • a full day in-person workshop
  • virtual learning programme (4 x 2 hour sessions)
  • longer blended programme / multi-day retreat

Open workshops

For open workshops with Here and Now People, see our what’s on page.

Bookings are open now for the Leading with Presence workshops we have scheduled for March 2024 in Ipswich and Norwich.

Where this fits

  • Do you show up with a calm, confident presence? 
  • Do you spend a lot of time planning or overthinking?
  • Do you find your plans can’t keep up with day-to-day realities?
  • Does your team have a tolerance for taking action in uncertain situations?
  • Do individuals have a shared language and skills for collaborative thinking?
  • Do people feel empowered to do what they can, where they are?

What you’ll learn

Open up
Stay present and responsive to what’s happening

Notice more
Tune in to thoughts, feelings and the wider context

Use what’s there
Meet your goals by using every available resource

Let go
Release patterns that no longer serve you

Get comfortable with uncomfortableness
Dial down anxiety so you can step into the moment

Build trust
Actively create closeness and demonstrate credibility

Tailored for your group

Tailored for your group
All our learning experiences are tailored to the needs of the group, and responsive to what’s happening in the room. This content can be delivered in a variety of formats in-person or online. It’s perfect for away days and team building days, or for shorter time frames like a half a day or even a couple of hours.

Let’s talk!

Improvisation is anything that happens in the moment without a fixed plan or script. In classes and shows with Here & Now this looks like games, scenes, stories and even whole plays made up on the spot.

There is a common view that improvisation is the last resort of the unprepared amateur. We see if differently.

We like Jill Bernard and Patrick Short’s definition of improvisation as ‘A highly refined system for observing, connecting and responding.’ To put it another way it’s all about opening up, noticing more and using what’s there. 

Just like fish are the last to see the water (apparently). So human’s are the last to see that sensing-and-responding in real time is their superpower. The skill we use from the moment of birth onwards. 

It’s an incredible ability to listen and respond in the moment, and it takes a mix of knowledge, skill, openness and flexibility. Simply put, life demands that we improvise well in the boardroom, in the bedroom in the back room building a business. To do otherwise is to stop engaging and get stuck.

As an artform or a-thing-to-do it’s an enjoyable way of making your own entertainment, which is what everyone did before TV. And it’s an impermanent or transient artform. It happens in the moment and it disappears just as it arrives (like life, eh). This is a big attraction for many as you don’t have to commit to words on a page or paint on canvas to express your creativity. You do it with other people, it’s always imperfect, and it’s a great show of humanity.

Going one step further it’s using what you’ve got, where you are. It’s enough to start a revolution. Which will of course be improvised.

Best of all improvisation attracts people who are kind, generous and playful.

Of course we’re biassed but we think it’s pretty special.

In our classes (usually 10-12 people) you’ll discover the principles and techniques of improvisational play with scenes, stories and characters. Guided by our teachers you’ll discover how to make scenes that are easy and delightful with quick agreement and playful co-operation. 

It’s not stand up – so you won’t be alone on stage and you won’t be telling jokes. And no, you don’t have to be funny – just come as you are, don’t try too hard, and we’ll take care of the rest!

You might be surprised to learn that there is more to improv than ‘Whose line is it anyway?’ style games where the fun comes quickly and impulsively. Alongside these games we will introduce a style of play that is unhurried, truthful, and where characters and stories emerge naturally and bring even greater delight.

Either way we guarantee that you will be entertained and laughing out loud in a happy state of flow. Seriously, Netflix has nothing on real human connection.

You don’t need any acting, improv or comedy experience at all to join our classes. We welcome complete beginners and anyone who is just a little bit curious.

Beware: spending time with open-minded and open-hearted improvisers is seriously addictive. Most people who do a beginners improv class with us go on to do more classes!

What you will learn

You will learn principles and techniques for improvising including:

• Listening and accepting ideas

• Being present in the moment

• Creating fun stories, scenes and characters

• Self-expression and emotional connection

• Working as a group and supporting each other

• Having confidence in your own ideas

• Mental flexibility and adaptability

• Delighting your scene partners

The classes are a great way to make new friends, build confidence, gain insights into instant creative collaboration. The simple joy of spontaneous freedom is perfect for finding new inspiration in life.

Our classes are open to absolutely anyone aged 18 and over and we only use accessible venues. 

Coming to your first class or workshop can be daunting, but if you fancy trying improv, you really should! You can contact us if you want to talk about it or ask questions.

Many of the best things in life come with ‘butterflies’, so if this appeals to you at some level, we say give it a go!

Low pressure and high in fun, our improvisation classes are great for anyone curious about improvisation, collaboration and self-expression.

Absolutely anyone can improvise and it is a lot of fun. No experience necessary.

If want to make new friends and laugh while getting in touch with your spontaneous creative side, then you’ll  enjoy this.

None of us goes through life with a script telling us what to do and we wouldn’t want one even if it was available.

We like to make our own decisions, take a few risks, connect with others, explore ideas and learn as we go. In other words, we improvise everyday.

So it’s good to play with this skillset and work on the craft of improvising so we can be more present in the moment, connect and create with others more easily, and learn to respond constructively in situations that feel beyond our control.

Learning to improvise gives you a chance to:

– have fun with like-minded, warm-hearted people

– do new things and play with more of your humanity

– share and express more of your feelings 

– learn more about yourself and others

– find renewed commitment to being active and creative

– decrease social anxiety with new skills and perspectives

– increase tolerance for uncertainty

There’s lots more too but that will do for now!

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Our monthly newsletter is about being here now, using your power and doing what matters. With details of workshops, online courses, peer groups and more.