Jeff Justice, CSP


Becoming Bendable

by Jeff Justice, CSP

My friend Bill Schabel is a top trainer for Southern Company. He knew what a valuable tool humor is to help people remember, relax, and understand his information, but he wasn’t Become Bendableconvinced about it being a stress-management tool. He told me, “Sometimes you’ve just got to get mad and yell — just get it all out.”

But do you, really? Anger, like fear, stimulates your hypothalamus and Pituitary. Your adrenals rush to produce noradrenalin and adrenaline, which, with other hormones, are released into your body, creating the “fight or flight syndrome” from old cavemen days — except that your mind doesn’t know if it’s a saber-toothed tiger coming or just Dick from Accounting. Learn More »

Use Humor to Improve Communication…

by Jeff Justice, CSP

Regardless of your politics, you’ll agree that the Great Communicator of the 1980s was President Ronald Reagan. He won election and reelection using his sense of humor. In his A Great Communicator Uses Humorcampaign debate against President Jimmy Carter, he lightly dismissed one of the President’s explanations with the comment, “There you go again….” His simple message often connected with buoyant optimism — in contrast to the humorless Chief Executive who put on a sweater, lowered the thermostat and told Americans to get used to it.

During his reelection campaign, the issue of Reagan’s age was raised as a disadvantage against his relatively youthful opponent, Senator Walter Mondale. Could the old man be trusted with his finger on the nuclear button? (When my grandfather was that age, we wouldn’t even let him touch the remote!) Comedians were making jokes about it — and you know when comedians are joking about it, it’s serious! Reagan replied, Learn More »

Use Humor to Defuse Anger

by Jeff Justice, CSP

I find that women tend to be more likely to use humor in tense situations. Statistically, women live longer than men. I believe that one of the main reasons is that, generally, they are better at releasing their emotions. They seem able to laugh more easily, cry more easily. Men try to act too serious — meanwhile, women are laughing at us and living longer!

Here’s a true example of defusing anger with humor involving a female police officer. She had been called to handle a domestic disturbance. Police officers really dislike these calls because emotions are high, tempers are flaring, and the potential for violence is raised.  As she was walking up the sidewalk, she heard a man’s voice shouting angrily, and then a television crashed through a second-story window, smashing at her feet. Instead of pulling out her gun, she knocked on the door.  From inside, the same angry voice boomed, “Who is it?” And she replied, “TV repair…!” Learn More »

Use Humor to Enhance Creativity

by Jeff Justice, CSP

According to Dr. Warren Fry of the University of Chicago, one benefit of laughter is that it produces an endorphin-like effect in your body — endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers, and laughter causes your body to mimic their pain-relieving impact. Use Humor to Enhance CreativityResearch shows laughter may increase your T-cell count for fighting disease.

Think about dis-ease being the opposite of ease.  Your brain and your body respond to your mental state in complex ways.  For instance, when researchers have measured the chemical composition of tears produced by joy and laughter, they have found their makeup is different from tears of sorrow and pain.  There’s more to tears than just salt water!

So what does this have to do with creativity?  When you are under a deadline, stress is a creativity killer.  In such circumstances, have you ever said, “Let’s get serious”?  I don’t believe “serious” is the best environment for creativity to flourish.  I encourage people to loosen up by having fun, because the best thinking often flows out of a more spontaneous, tension-free environment.  Learn More »

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