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3 Ways Using Humour In Coaching Amplifies Results

Written by: Gill Moakes, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


As a business coach and growth strategist, I sometimes feel like a square peg in a round hole… make that an irregular hexagon shaped peg in a perfectly round hole that’s been meticulously drawn with a sharpened pencil using a pair of compasses. (Tangent: why ‘pair’ of compasses?? It’s one thing…)

I don’t take myself too seriously. In fact, the only thing I’m dialled–in, super serious about in my business is my clients’ results.

My coaching sessions, my meetings with my team and my approach to marketing myself and my business are all filled with laughter. I can’t help it… there’s just so much I find damn funny!

Approaching their entrepreneurial journey with a stiff, no-nonsense, disciplined approach works incredibly well for some people, but not for me.

And I’m good with that.

No… I’m more than good with it… I love my approach – and so do my clients.

Here’s why:

1. Rapport

NOTHING builds rapport with a client (or prospective client) faster and more genuinely than humour. Fact.

Client: ‘I just want someone to tell me how to do this’

Coach: ‘Me too! Who are we gonna ask??’

It’s tongue in cheek. It’s funny.

The client knows the coach is joking and that THEY are the one who will coach the answer out from the client themselves.

The coach knows that the client knows… ok, you get it, I’ll stop now.

The point is, the ice is broken, the mood is lightened. Coach and coachee can now throw off the confines of ‘professional image’, formal ‘business language’ and get to the nitty-gritty of a powerful and transformational coaching conversation.

2. Interruption

In a coaching session, laughter can function as a powerful pattern interrupt. This is a technique we can use to change a particular thought pattern or behaviour.

For example, a client who is struggling with their money mindset, might repeatedly go back to the money story they grew up with. The story their parents reinforced at every opportunity… ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ or ‘you have to work incredibly hard, long hours to make good money’. As I notice these legacy money stories raising their heads again, I might smile at my client and say, ‘hello my old friends… welcome back… we’ve not seen you for a while, how long are you planning to stick around?’

At this point, the client will often pause and laugh with the realisation that their old beliefs have crept back in to sabotage them. Their negative thought has been interrupted and the coast is clear for a more positive one to come and replace it.

Using humour, sensitively, as a pattern interrupt can supply a welcome respite during an intense coaching session.

There’s a caveat of course: Clients don’t want to feel they’re being laughed at. Humour is a powerful tool but needs to be used responsibly, and you need to use the right kind of humour with the right client.

Laugh with your clients.

3. Sustainability

My coaching clients learn that a lighter approach to working ‘on’ their business makes it easier to keep going. A stress-ridden, intense focus on progress is a sure-fire route to burnout.

My VA, Emily, and I often laugh like drains at the number of new ideas I come up with for the business in the space of a week… my brain is like a chocolate idea fountain. She teases me every time about the amount I try to achieve in 5 days each week! But here’s the thing, we don’t act on all the ideas, AND I don’t become angst ridden over my shiny object tendencies either. We just laugh, store up the ideas for another time, then go back to following our plan.

I accept with a light heart my approach to my business.

Humour and self-acceptance around our foibles keeps us going for far longer than fear of failure and self-reproach ever will.

A story

I tested my theory around self-acceptance and taking a lighter hearted approach to business to the MAX last year.

I fell in love with the idea of creating a paid membership for entrepreneurs who couldn’t afford private coaching with me.

I breathed life into the membership by working at high intensity for 3 months until we launched on 1st November 2021.

It was a success. It was profitable. I hated it.

Yep. Hated it.

I simply couldn’t offer the transformational business coaching I’m used to providing via a membership model.

I learned that the whole reason I get such incredible results with my clients is because I become so invested in them and their businesses. Their results become my results.

A ‘passive income’ business model is just not for me.

So, I closed the membership.

After just 2 months.

And it felt great. I was honest and transparent with my members around why this wasn’t right for me. Some chose to work privately with me. Some didn’t, and that’s ok – I’ll continue to serve those people via free content like this article.

The point is. I can look back at this without a hint of embarrassment, regret, or disappointment.

Why? Because I can facepalm emoji the poo emoji out of the situation.

The lesson?

When you stop taking yourself and your business too seriously you start being braver. You get more comfortable taking risks. You aim higher. You’re less terrified of failure and mistakes.

You’re free.

If you want to apply for a complimentary (and potentially side-splitting) strategy session, you can do so HERE.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Gill Moakes, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Gill is a UK based business coach and growth consultant who works with freedom seekers and entrepreneurs on-the-grow, to create and sell high ticket offers . She helps ambitious coaches, consultants and creatives discover and design a new reality and a life & business lived on their own terms. Delivering the map, the motivation, and the mindset to dream and achieve bigger than you ever thought possible, Gill believes that when you’re brave enough to do things your way and you’re outstanding at what you do, you deserve a life of infinite possibilities.



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