A Research Paper created by Ingrid Remmery
(Executive Coaching, CHINA)
Why is my research paper about humor?
- Laughing is part of me
- I noticed that my clients appreciate some humor during the coaching sessions
- Using humor is one of the ICF-competences
- I have a great interest in communication
What can you find in my research paper?
Chapter 1 gives a short introduction about the role of communication skills in a (coaching) relationship.
Chapter 2 describes the effect of humor/laughing to our body and the benefits/risks of humor in a coaching relationship.
Chapter 3 is focused on humor in a non-verbal way: the world of Cartoons
1. Communication skills in a coaching relationship
Good communication skills are the key to successful coaching. Communication is not only about the content of a message. It is also about the effect a message has on the person receiving it.
Communication is two-way: coach-client and client-coach. Communication is like a motorway with many cars driving from A to B and from B to A.
The coach is in charge
In a coaching relationship the coach is in charge of good communication, not the client. The client himself has a lot on his mind and is looking for a safe place to tell/share his story, concern, … Depending on the moment the client’s message can be well structured, overwhelmed with some emotions or even totally confused. However their message contains a lot of crucial information about where the client is at the moment.
It’s the task of the coach to respond with clarity. Effective communication starts with the level of clarity the message is sent out. The clearer the message is sent, the clearer the receiver can respond to it.
Many ways to send out a message
Communication, as the act of sending out ideas, information, knowledge, thoughts and feelings can take many forms.
Verbal communication is well known. Depending on the pressure of the vocal chords in our Larynx or ‘sound box’ we can talk, laugh, cry, … Those forms of verbal communication are common during a coaching session. Generally speaking the client takes around 80% of the verbal communication, the coach 20%.
On the other hand, we can say a lot without uttering a word. In his book ‘Effective Communication’ John Adair distinguish 9 ingredients of non-verbal communication: head position, psychical gestures like hand and foot movements, body position, tone of the voice, physical tough, eye contact, proximity, appearance (ex. clothes, hair) and facial expression (ex. a smile, a simple nod, an expression of sympathy). Communication experts suggest that between 65% and 93% of the meaning of a message is conveyed through tone of voice and non-verbal behaviors.
A coach has to be aware of both forms of communication. Good communication skills require a balance between verbal and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication that is not in alignment with non-verbal communication causes confusion for the client. A coach saying: “Well done!” with a sour expression on his face can create quite some confusion.