Laughing and coaching – ever the twain shall meet?
There are many styles of laughter yoga, as there are of coaching. One key practice (which we explored recently at the SWCouncils conference) is a smiling practice.
This practice is based on a 1988 pencil-in-the-teeth experiment by Professor Frach and Associates which demonstrated the mood-lifting effects of smiling, and their longevity.
As soon as we start examining this, the potential application to coaching practices becomes clear – it is a fast, simple and effective way of shifting mood.
Mood-changing, emotional fluidity and resilience are part of an essential coaching toolkit.
These specific qualities are developed through laughter yoga practices, especially the solo practices.
Although laughter yoga is often considered a group activity – which is how it originated – it has evolved to become fluid and user-friendly in all circumstances.
Part of the practice becomes learning how to internalise these qualities, and learning to make them work fast and effectively.
The Laughter Facilitation Skills course ( #laughteryogawithJoe ) in Bristol, 7/8th October, focuses specifically on this aspect, among others.
At a recent (unrelated) training session, one of the delegates was a coach. She spends part of her working time travelling between clients. She had discovered, independently, that by gripping a pencil across her teeth and therefore having her face in the smiling position, she was in the best mood she could be by the time she reached her next client. This is the smiling exercise!
With a few additional tweaks, her toolkit expanded significantly, but it was great to come across someone who had figured this basic practice out for themselves.