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"Coach Talk" Blog!

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Monday, April 09 2012
OK so are you chuckling, curious, a bit offended or a little of each?  Well just so you know the subject line is true and I didn't do it for shock value, there is a method to my madness.

First of all though, I have to say I find it interesting that "flatulent noises" are the one thing that can pretty consistently make people from age 6-86 giggle if not down-right hee haw. Anyway I digress... kinda...the whole point is:

My last blog post was about techniques coaches use to "get out of the way".  Since then I heard Jonah Lehrer being interviewed about his new book Imagine: How Creativity Works. And what I remember him saying was that the bilateral prefrontal lobe of the brain is, among other things, responsible for inhibition and can get in the way of natural creativity. 
He explained that Jazz musicians who improvise constantly are able to turn off that part of their brain at will and are able to totally focus all their attention on the creative process. They aren't concerned about making a mistake or what others will think.

He then went on to talk about The Second City- the famous comic improv group in Chicago. He said they do warm up exercises before each performance to help release their inhibitions and get into that creative space. One exercise is they just start talking uncensored about something they find embarrassing. The other is they walk around making all different kinds of flatulent noises- hence my subject line!!
Now for coaches I'm certainly not suggesting we get on the call with a client and start making unseemly sounds, although it is entertaining to think about!
I guess the question is what can we consciously do to learn to shut down that part of our brain so that we can be totally present with our clients and allow the creativity to flow without second guessing ourselves.
One possible exercise: Master Business Coach Andrea J. Lee always encourages people to be really bold in their lives despite what others may think.  And so one suggestion she gives to aid in this process is to put a sticker of some part on your face and then go out to the market!  
Now you might be wondering how that's going to help you when you're on a call with a client a week later. I was contemplating that myself and suddenly remembered back when I was an actress. Early on in my career, I was preparing for a one act play about 2 young homeless people. In order to get a sense of what that would be like, the other actor and I dressed the part and went out on the Upper East Side and pandered for money.
It was an embarrassing, painful and fascinating experience. It wasn't until a week later that the actual first performance took place and it was the very 1st time I experienced becoming totally lost in a character. Like the jazz musicians, there was no worry about what I was doing or how others were perceiving me. It was an ecstatic experience and the state I always long for whenever I do anything-- out of my head, totally present, focused and at one with the process.
And after hearing Lehrer's interview, I think I understand it more now from a scientific perspective. My subconscious, my cells, my brain or whatever, remembered that experience on the street in NYC and the inhibition center in my brain disengaged enabling emersion in the creative process to take place even a week later.
Of course those 2 experiences were directly related.  But the scientific research proves the more we purposely step out of our comfort zone and do silly, wacky or bold things, the more we learn how to "turn off" that which inhibits us from fully being and doing.
Ok so I've just made my bold move for the day or more like for the month by using the flatulent subject line-pffft!  
So now is there some bold goofiness you're willing to try? Or do you have a related experience or suggestion to share? Would love to hear .

Posted by: Gail Moore AT 12:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email