The Star-Tribune in Minneapolis followed along a group of Major League Soccer sales trainees to improv comedy classes and filed a report on it yesterday.
Can you guess which one of these performers is the salesperson and which one is the comedian? Warning: This video is a literal "Yes, And" game. Roll it.
MLS began doing this last summer for a select number of applicants to its sales training program. Why? "Our motto is deadly serious, yet deadly playful," Bryant Pfeiffer, vice president of the league's club services, told the newspaper. "Sales is tough. You're expected to make a lot of calls and hear a lot of no's. The more fun you make it, the longer you can make people laugh, they stick with it and overcome the tough periods."
Sales trainee Emily Morris added: "When you ask a person a question, they respond. You can't cancel out what they said. You have to build upon what they told you."
As the Sports Show with Norm Macdonald blog (new episode tonight on Comedy Central!) guessed, this probably has some connection to Seattle Sounders co-owner Drew Carey.
And as the Star-Tribune piece noted, several other companies also are sending their employees to improv companies around the country, hoping that they can bond, loosen up and listen better in the workplace.