How many times during a decent stand-up comedy set do you hear the phrase: "it's funny because it's true”? A good comic can make an impact by telling us stuff that we already know, but that we haven't had the time to comprehend fully. Leaders, managers, marketers, writers and artists can all learn from the same approach to their work and encourage positive change as a result.
It's Funny Because It's True
Often, the best stand up comics aren't always the ones that:
- Invent their own jokes
- Tell funny stories
- Do good impressions
- Nail their timing
Sometimes, a good comic simply draws attention to everyday things that we all do, see and hear, then present it back to us from a different angle. If they get it right, it makes us laugh.
You Must Have Noticed
The mere fact that you laugh at something that’s funny because it's true means that you’ve noticed it before. You must have, otherwise you wouldn't have a clue what was going on. Take the following quick examples:
- Jason Manford's original source
- Peter Kay, garlic bread anyone?
- Michael McIntyre and the gym
- Lee Evans and Ikea
... All stuff that we’ve probably noticed at some point in the past, but never given it much thought.
A Platform for Change
That's sometimes the job of a good writer, manager, leader, marketer or artist of any kind. Not to create stories or relay experiences. But to find the lessons and point out the subtleties and obscurities of life that we're already aware of, but hadn't had the time to investigate or the conscious notion to think about, let alone learn from. For example:
- A good writer doesn't always divide opinion and provide controversy. You can be that confirmation that propels action.
- A good leader or manager doesn’t always have to have an original solution. You can coach and encourage your staff to look introspectively.
- A good artist doesn’t need to build from scratch. You can interpret others’ work and make it your own.
- A good consultant doesn’t have to have the answer. You can provide an environment for clients to think critically and objectively for themselves.
If we communicate things that people already know in a new or novel way, we can encourage action and initiate change. If your reader, member of staff, fan, customer or client has always thought the same way as you or has noticed the same things as you, but hasn't quite had the confidence to stand up and do something about it, then you can be that voice that spurs action.
So next time you start planning a project or campaign - next time you sit down at a meeting or one-to-one - next time you’re asked to share your opinion or give your advice - next time you write, play, paint, create, wherever you have the opportunity to communicate with someone, don’t be afraid to state the obvious. If you can do that in a new or novel way, you might just get listened to, inspire someone, or make a change.
Funny that isn't it...
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