8. Coaching with Humor
Creativity has a hidden secret. This secret provides relief when you are experiencing tension or feel like you are making a mistake. It will amuse you and stimulate you to create more work.
Humor is this hidden secret that has the ability to take a perceived mistake and alter it so that it appears as a major breakthrough. Too often, when the tension point is high, humor is not used enough to relieve the tension, that often appears while creating. Humor is used to provide lightness and excitement toward a work of art or project. When the coaching relationship focuses on humor it provides the impetus to make change. There are three different approaches when using humor in coaching.
The first, is to use humor by going outside the normal patterns of what you normally do. Too often we do the same thing day in and day out. In the coaching relationship with Shaqe, assignments are sometimes given to find humor in your creative work. By taking what we do too seriously it blocks new ideas that could regenerate a new direction. So what would one of these assignments look like? An assignment was given to a writer to draw shapes in a repetitively and compulsively. This allowed the writer to see shapes all around him, specifically in letters. It may have appeared boring to him at first, but it did initiate a process where he was more attuned to the shapes of letters that he would normally look at, and he found the exercise luminous.
Second, misfires or the feeling of making mistakes can sometimes create a seriousness about the art or project. These misfires represent a barrier to getting the best work out of you. It hinders a playful reaction to the creative work at hand. Humor and playfulness are used to open up the creative process for the person.
The third, approach that can add humor to an art work or product is that the work itself can be humorous. It facilitates a different experience for both the person creating it and the one receiving it. Through the use of humor, lightness to the overall project can be felt.
When the focus is on coaching with humor the person can experience a shift in the relationship to their work. It can facilitate lightness to how a person produces and manages their creative work. John Cleese a well-known comedian, actor, writer and film producer and presenter on creativity, speaks often about this relationship between humor and creativity. His history from changing his life as a teacher and to that of a comedian is an example of how somebody can alter their life to embark on a life of humor.