Yesterday I was in the midst of a very serious coaching session with one of my clients. It was intense. We were both deeply engaged in the thought process at hand, when my client said something completely unexpected, in an attempt to make me laugh. It worked! I erupted into a full blown belly laugh. The tension from our conversation eased away and we had a few moments to regroup our thoughts, and then continued to work through the issue.
You may think this incident would have thrown us out of our productive coaching session, but in fact, it did just the opposite. Laughter releases endorphins which are very helpful for the communication process. We both needed that laugh in order to have the stamina to carry on the difficult conversation.
Having a well developed sense of humor has saved my behind so many times in my professional career! Situations soften with humor. I’m not saying I skirt the issue; quite the contrary. If we learn to laugh at ourselves, sometimes it makes it easier to take constructive criticism in stride in order to learn and grow from it. I am not a fan of practical jokes aimed at hurting someone’s feelings. That’s not what I’m getting at here. I’m simply saying laughter is “good medicine” as they say.
In my life, my aim is to belly laugh at least once each day. Some days, it’s the most exercise my abdominals get. Heck, it’s a lot more fun than crunches.
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