Performance labs

Humanizing the workplace with a safe place to experiment and grow

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The world and workplace are changing faster than ever, and never before have connection and communication been so important. To meet these demands, we need innovative experiential learning, which connects with the people challenges we all face in our uncertain world.

What are Performance Labs?

Led by industry experts, Ayming’s Performance Labs allow people to step out of their comfort zone and connect on a different level to standard training. Performance Labs are a chance to try something new – safely test your range of flexibility, challenge yourself and experience individual and team flow. They are a place where experiments can take place. These involve engaging in practical “in the moment” individual and group exercises and reviewing the results.

Performance Labs reveal what works, what doesn’t, and why. Most important, however, is how we can apply the learning from the Lab.

This method is an intense and focused way of practicing and developing essential skills such as trust, collaboration, commitment, accountability and confidence. It uses several performance themes and platforms such as flowpresencespontaneitythinking on your feet, and storytelling. The sessions are challenging but fun and delivered in a safe, relaxed environment – ideal for taking a risk or two to create behavioral change.

Lab themes

Performance Labs most often target the following themes. However, Ayming’s Performance Labs experts can use their extensive experience to create bespoke Labs to suit your specific needs.

Teaming > Collaboration > Communication > Resilience > Emotional Intelligence > Well-being > Culture > Purpose > Innovation > Pitching or selling.

We use data for insight

Before the Performance Lab day, we share a survey to gain unique insights into the challenges or views of those taking part. The surveys help form the focus and outputs for our Performance Lab experts. We then provide a survey upon completion and a feedback report to ensure we make the most of the opportunity for active learning takeaways and recommendations.

Performance Lab sessions

We use exercises and activities drawn from the following > Flow States > Flip Conversations > Sports Psychology > Acting And Stage > Improvisation > Music > Applied Performance Psychology > Co- Creation > Mindfulness.

Our Performance Lab coaches offer a unique experience. We have delivered similar experiences to a wide range of clients from PLCs to SMEs, the RAF, Media and Elite Sport.

How long does a Performance Lab take?

Team sessions are generally 2 hours, half days, or full days.

Conference sessions range from 30 minutes to 90 minutes.

How many people take part in a lab session?

We recommend group sizes of between 10 and 20 to get the maximum impact from the highly experiential team sessions.

Feedback from the Labs

Using Ayming Academy Performance Labs for our conference positively disrupted our norm. They provided a practical and fun-filled session getting engagement and commitment from our extended senior team of over 60 people in a short time. They ensured energy was high and introduced exercises that created individual and team stretch, resulting in enhanced teaming outcomes.
After a three-hour intensive High Performing Team Session, our collective focus was reset, with increased levels of flow and connection across the team. It proved to be a fun and an enlightening way to develop trust and communication.


Performance Labs in the Virtual World

When face-to-face sessions are inconvenient or impossible, applied improvisation is the key.

Ayming’s Performance Labs have been created such that we can move online when necessary. We can deliver engaging sessions on connection, collaboration, and communication and improve well-being.

Applied improvisation training has a considerable advantage in the virtual world. It’s interactive, practical, fun and interactive. Yes, we said it twice. In the land of Zoom, interactivity is King. In the real world, PowerPoint slides and lectures were never the best ways to engage people, but now many of us are behind screens all day long. Trainers need to work much harder to retain the attention of even the most dedicated participant.

To help your training achieve your goals in the virtual world, you need two things:

  1. To avoid participants becoming passive observers – Even in the office, people can sometimes switch off. Now they are sitting at home, vulnerable to snacks, pets, their email inbox and deliveries.
  2. To keep things engaging and entertaining – In many ways looking at a Zoom screen arouses the same feelings as watching a YouTube video. We know that if a video doesn’t grab our attention immediately, we click on through to the next one.

Applied Improvisation

Applied improvisation takes the principles and skillset of improvisation and applies them beyond their traditional home in the theater to create personal or team development. It also ticks the interactivity boxes that help create meaningful engagement in the virtual world.

Improvisation encompasses various activities and exercises for pairs and groups that work equally on Zoom as they do in real life. Practical sessions immediately have the effect of making everybody present. They also offer a chance to practice real skills and see what works and what doesn’t in an active environment. The sessions are engaging and sometimes even playful. Play also requires and fosters trust in the participants, which significantly impacts well-being.

Improvisation & well-being

When working remotely, people can become disengaged and lonely and lose the sense they are part of a team. Without lunchtime chats, conversations in the kitchen and coffee before or after work, people’s only interactions are discussions about the job. The absence of extracurricular communication is not conducive to employee engagement.

However, there are many valuable activities, games and exercises that applied improvisation can leverage in the virtual world, helping you build stronger relationships between remote workers and develop morale and connection. Research proves that when working as a team, friends outperform strangers. Positive social exchanges decrease stress, anxiety, and depression while increasing feelings of happiness and calm.

Key takeaways from Virtual Performance Lab sessions:

  • Improved collaboration and communication
  • Exploration of status dynamics and how they impact you and your team
  • Improved leadership and fellowship
  • Better adaptability and thinking on your feet
  • More confidence during public speaking and Q&As
  • Enhanced listening skills and giving/receiving better feedback
  • Construct meaningful and impactful stories
  • Simplify and clarify your message to connect to your audience
  • Increased creativity and innovation

What sort of virtual performance lab?

We currently run the following “off the peg” workshops (75-90 minutes)

  • Team Bonding, communication & connection,
  • Presentation & storytelling,
  • Innovation and creativity,
  • Adaptability, spontaneity & resilience,
  • Well-being events.

We can also create something specifically for you. A successful outcome starts by identifying and articulating your problems and the targets you want to achieve.

How many people take part in a virtual performance lab session?

Sessions aimed at individual or team growth typically have between 8 and 20 people allowing for more space for debriefs and personal exchanges. Larger sessions are suitable for connecting and well-being and can handle anything between 20 and 100 people.

How long is a virtual performance lab?

Session times are entirely flexible but are typically between 60-180 minutes.