Life is better when you bring some humor into it. Thus, in this Expert Insight Interview, Izzy Gesell discusses applying humor and improv techniques and practices to your personal and professional life. Izzy Gesell is an “organizational alchemist,” keynote speaker, author, workshop leader, professional facilitator, and presentation coach.
The interview discusses:
Applying humor and improv techniques to daily life
Recognizing the power of humor
Self-developing through humor and improv
Humor and Improv in Daily Life
Sales is a performance-based and relationships building role. And in those relationships, you cannot control what others assume or believe about you, but you can control how you show up in public. The principles of humor and improv techniques apply to daily life as being able to think on your feet and being comfortable with things not being perfect. Like in sales, in improv, you do not know what is coming next and must adapt to it. The point is that even though there is only one goal, there are many paths that lead to that goal. We have to keep the goal the same while understanding the flexibility of different positions. Thus, we have to be curious to explore, open to listening to the possibilities, and confident to respond to them. We should not try to lead things our way but to be creative, curious, engage in active listening, and let go of positions.
The reason why comedians practice their work is that they are building a persona. Spontaneity can positively surprise people and bring them laughter. Responding to your clients in a way they did not expect by showing grace and vulnerability builds relationships with clients.
Humor as a Resource
With humor, you can build connections, distract from uncomfortable situations, encourage and put people down, etc. In many cases, humor is an underutilized and underrecognized resource. It can bring people high status and reputation if they use it right. Firstly, recognize where your humor comes from and what feels natural to you. And next, identify what you are trying to accomplish with your humor. Humor has cultural differences, and it is not one size fits all type. Thus, know your audience and pick your humor.
Some people doubt that they are funny. However, there is a line between funny and humor. Being funny is about jokes, but humor is about how you see the world and the ability to see different perspectives. It is about being your authentic self and embracing what comes naturally to you. Especially nowadays, humor and improv are aspects of resilience, self-development, and survival mechanisms for many.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.