Carrie Spaulding is a coach, speaker, facilitator, improviser, educator, nomad, and human. 19 years of professionally performing, teaching, and directing improvisation have empowered Carrie to thrive in each of these identities. Using her distinctively creative, experiential, and outside-the-box approach, Carrie helps individual clients, teams, coaches, leaders, and organizations harness the power of improvisation to be more effective, engaged, collaborative, agile, self-aware, confident, and compassionate in all aspects of work and life.
An acclaimed speaker and session leader, Carrie facilitates growth with warmth, passion, expertise, and humor, and leaves participants armed with improved skills, new tools and strategies, and a feeling that professional development was never this much fun! With her dynamic, engaging spirit, Carrie shows up real and goes deep to empower individuals and groups to achieve their professional and personal goals.
In her private coaching as The Thirtysomething Coach, Carrie helps thirtysomethings break through Thirtysomething Panic and create careers, relationships, and lives they love. A Professional Certified Coach credentialed by the International Coach Federation, Carrie brings a host of tools and a breadth and depth of experience to her practice, and continually draws from her improvisation, performance, and teaching backgrounds to enhance her coaching presence and impact.
In January 2018, Carrie embarked on the ultimate improvisation: a nomadic adventure, living, coaching, speaking, training, and improvising all over the United States. This journey capitalizes on and continues to stretch and hone Carrie’s mastery in creating presence in the midst of disruption, fostering instant connections in a wide variety of settings, spotting and nurturing emergent opportunities, pivoting and adapting to the unexpected, embracing the “not knowing,” and finding home wherever she is.
Part of Coaching Presence is to be "open to not knowing"—and we have perhaps never had a greater collective experience of “not knowing” as the one we find ourselves in now. We are many months into global pandemic and unprecedented disruption, and simultaneously living into a crucial tipping point and reckoning in the movement for social justice. Improvisation is one of the most powerful tools we can harness in a time of uncertainty, conflict, confusion, and change.
Like all humans, coaches and leaders are creatures of habit, subject to our own filters, learning, egos, and blind spots. How do we remain deeply present with our clients and teams when we, too, are feeling the ground shift beneath us? How do we coach and lead into a new normal we can’t yet envision? How can we internalize and embody principles of diversity and inclusion so that initiatives are transformative and lasting, not just lip service? How can we be better allies and amplify voices that have been silenced or ignored—or, make our voices heard when we ourselves have been silenced, placated, or dismissed? How can we step out of our default patterns and comfort zones to let go of siloed thinking, transform how we are running our businesses, and be more agile and resilient? Improvisation thinking and practice gives us an edge in all of these areas.
Many people know that “yes, and” is the basic rule of improvisation. But come on…really?! How is “yes, and” a realistic, relevant, and responsible mindset in the face of massive disruption and grave injustice, trauma, and loss? Isn’t “yes, and" just a nice concept you can use when you have the luxury? A fun team-building activity, but not always possible to implement in the “real world"?
Nothing could be further from the truth. “Yes, and” isn’t just a “nice to have”—it can be the game-changer you need when the stakes are highest. The principles and skills of improvisation are more crucial to your success now than ever before.
In this session, we’ll bring improvisation off the stage and into the real world, where it can provide you with the insight, mindset, and skills to dance in the ever-changing moment. You’ll finish this session with enhanced skills, a greater awareness of your personal blind spots and growth opportunities, and key principles and practice tools that will empower you and those you serve to thrive in this VUCA-est of worlds.
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