One Word Suggestion: Ankle

Welcome to One Word Suggestion.

Most people think improv is just for comedy or jazz music. But it’s also a powerful tool for life. In each three minute episode of this series I use a single word, suggested by you, as a leaping off point to explore how having an improvisational mindset will help you perform at a higher level, both personally and professionally, whether you have a career on or off the stage.

This week’s word, ankle, was suggested by Tomas.

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Of all the miracles of the human body, one of the most overlooked is the ankle.

Ankles are unique in that they are made up of three different bones and joints. And all three must all work together to keep you standing, jogging, snowboarding or dancing, ideally, without falling over.

This assembly of bones and joints is held together by an intricate series of tendons. But what’s really cool, and may come in handy at your next trivia night, is that the ankle is the only “mortise and tenon” joint in the human body.

A mortise and tenon generally being known as a woodworking term for a tab and slot, or hole and peg method of joining two pieces of wood together.

But chances are you’ve never cared about of any of this.

Unless you’ve twisted, sprained or rolled your ankle. In which case you may have an old x-ray laying around somewhere showing exactly what I just described.

In fact, of all the major joints in the human body, the ankle is the most commonly injured.

Despite all it’s complexity and capability, sometimes your ankles need a little extra support.

This is why basketball players wear high tops, mountaineers wear hiking boots, and gymnasts use lots of tape.

Less demanding activities, like the ones you might do around the office, require a different, but equally important type of support.

Wouldnt it be great to walk into the office every day trusting, knowing and believing that your peers want you to succeed? That they won’t hesitate to make you look good, because doing so makes them look good too? Or that everyone has your back, and will encourage you to keep trying, learning, and improving?

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Or that you have the freedom to experiment — and fail without judgement?

A supportive environment like this is critical to business success.

And a fantastic way to create that kind of environment is with improv training.

Once everyone on your team has improv skills then that’s when things really get going.

Because you’re all listening to each other.

Because you’re all building on each other’s ideas.

Because you’re celebrating each other’s unique abilities and contributions.

Because you’re working collaboratively towards your common goal.

Because you’re all supporting each other.

Just like the intricate parts of your ankle work together to keep you moving forward, so too can all the various processes and people in your business.

You just need to surround yourself with a team you can trust to support each other as you run your race.

As they say, teamwork makes the dream work.

And improv training can give you and your team the confidence to stand on your own two feet, and the courage to leap into the future.

So that’s my take on ankle.

Thanks for the great suggestion, Tomas.

If you want to suggest a word for next week, or add your perspective, please drop me a note in the comments or in a review. I’m making one of these every week, for a year, so definitely subscribe, like, share, and all that stuff.

Or better yet, listen to the podcast.

And in the meantime, if you’re interested in improv for personal growth, professional achievement, or just for fun, my suggestion is to get yourself into an improv class or book a corporate training workshop for your team.

You can learn all about LMA’s programs at

Eran Thomson is the Founder of Zuper Superannuation, Laugh-Masters Academy, LMA Professional Development, Comedy & Co, and the Australian Improv Festival.

The One Word Suggestion podcast with Eran Thomson

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