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  1. Using Humour in Job Development: Techniques to Add Zest to Your Practice IAJVS PD Conference Call Facilitated By: Joanna Samuels, Team Lead, Employer Services & Job Developer JVS Toronto Date: May 16 2012 Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  2. Agenda • Background • Hypothesis • Benefits • Challenges • Techniques • Conclusion • Q&A Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  3. A job developer asks a colleague: "What time is it?" The other one answers: "Sorry, don't know, I have no watch." The first one: "Never mind! The main thing is that we talked about it." (Workjoke Profession Joke, 2009) Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  4. Background • Using humour in job development with clients and employers is needed now more than ever. • There is an increase in the numbers of people looking for work on our caseloads—the competition to secure employers and job leads has intensified, combined with higher expectations of paid placements of our clients from the funders. Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  5. Hypothesis • Current practices and research indicate strong support for the use of humour when used appropriately • Humour in teaching/training facilitates effective learning for all ages and cultures (Wanzer et al. 2006; Wanzer & Frymier, 1999). Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  6. Thesis • As long as the job developers are sensitive to the diversity and needs of the people they are helping, and to when and where humour and laughter are used in these relationships, this can have a positive effect in the employment counseling and job developer relationships with their clients and employers. Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  7. Benefits • Motivation & Creativity • Engaging in humour and laughter enhances creativity and divergent thinking—the ability of the brain to bring together diverse ideas that will generate the thinking necessary for complex problem-solving (Morrison, 2008). • Risk-taking is the “nucleus of creativity and of humour and has the ability to alert the attention centre of the brain and increase the likelihood of memory storage and long term retrieval” (Garner, 2005, p. 17). • Increased level of comprehension and cognitive (Garner) • Since learning occurs through involvement and enjoyment, humour creates a positive emotional atmosphere which is crucial for a successful learning experience (Dormann & Briddle, 2006). Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  8. Benefits • Psychological & Physiological • Morrison (2008) discusses how humour is a well-documented tension-reducing tool in the classroom and discusses the compelling data from the medical field linking humour, health and cognitive connections. • Humor contributes to the mind/body balance (Morrison) • Laughter relieves pain, reduces stress and improves the immune system. This can aid learning through improved respiration and circulation, lower pulse and blood pressure, and release of endorphins into the blood stream (Morrison) • Healing effects of laughter include the reduction of anxiety, help relieve stress and increase mental sharpness – all desirable in pedagogical settings (Garner, 2006). Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  9. Benefits • Rapport with Instructor • Humour and laughter have the potential to break down social distance between counselor and client as well as facilitate effective learning for all ages and cultures (Weaver & Wilson, 1987; Wanzer et al. 2006; Wanzer & Frymier, 1999). • Award-winning educators use humour to create an inviting classroom, relive stress, improve attention and expand students’ comprehension and stimulate participation (Schatz and LoSchiavo, 2006). Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  10. Benefits • Building a Network / Community • Humour enhances social bonding • Sharing humour and laughter is an indicator of togetherness and produces pleasant experiences which enhance feeling and create a positive emotional atmosphere (Dorman & Biddle, 2005). Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  11. Challenges – Be Careful Be Sensitive to Diversity • Highly personal, subjective and context - The facilitator cannot always predict how it will be received. • it is important for frontline practitioners understand that the clients have “different patterns of communication and with diversity in the classroom—race, culture, class, ethnicity, gender, learning styles, intelligence differences, and personalities—what to one person is a permissible question according to the standards of critical inquiry is rude, bigoted and hurtful to another” (Brookfield, 2005, p. 123) Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  12. Challenges – Be Careful The Personality of the Job Developer • Lawson (2001) views humour as a “hit-or-miss affair and rests on the comedic skills (innate or acquired) of the teacher which is limited and on shaky ground” (p. 18). • Be careful with your selection as the humourous materials which put someone down may not be the type that should be used because “humour should always be a way to laugh with other people and not at others.” Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  13. Torok et al. (1999) identified four most popular types of humour considered positive and appropriate use of humour: funny stories, funny comments, jokes, and professional humour; the fifth most popular type was sarcasm which was the most frequently used and recommended type of humour. Techniques to Add Zest to Your Practice! Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  14. Funny Cartoons, Comic Strips & Jokes • Comic strips can be created to simulate real-life occurrences (Weaver & Wilson, 2006) and discussions in the workshops or in one-on-one sessions with the client. They can be replaced each week or day on your bulletin board or employment centre boards. • Include cartoons and comic strips in the curriculum and lesson plans of workshops or sessions. • Clip funny quotations, sayings or jokes from books, magazines, the Internet, or even a quote from an employee, employer or client (Weaver & Wilson, 1997). • Use www.bitstrips.com to create comic strips with characters and word play – students can laugh together at human follies and build community of togetherness (Dorman and Biddle, 2005). • http://www.bestfunnyquotes.com/funny-work-quotes.shtml • www.glasbergen.com/business-computer-cartoons • www.dilbert.com • www.lotsofjokes.com Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  15. References ? Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  16. Interview Skills ? Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  17. Funny Anecdotes and YouTube Clips • Another method to teach job search skills such as cold calling to the clients is to share a story with a humourous outcome that is relevant to the client. • Great Youtube for an interview skills workshop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b56eAUCTLok) • The television show The Office also makes for very funny clips as ice breakers for job search workshops, or getting a good laugh from a client or employer. Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  18. Smiling • A smile can be contagious, particularly during high stress periods. Job developers who smile when working with their clients create a sense of “well-being and overall or general satisfaction with oneself, one’s particular job, and with the workplace” (Weaver & Wilson, 1997, p. 113). • The smile exudes a positive attitude and is essential for enabling the client to feel warm and welcome. Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  19. Conclusion • How many job developers does it take to change a light bulb? • The light bulb doesn’t need changing; it’s the system that needs to change • None. The light bulb is not burnt out. It’s just differently lit. • Five. One to screw it in, three to form the support group, and one to help with the placement. (Workjoke Profession Jokes, 2009) Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  20. Conclusion • The research literature reports that when used competently and appropriately, humour and laughter can create a fun environment for learning and can expand the clients’ comprehension, motivation and participation in his or her job search. • Humour helps clients with dealing with their emotionally draining and stressful job search and discouraging situation. • Humour is an effective tool to build relationships and rapport with clients, employers and colleagues. • Because humour is one of the major traits of the best, most effective educators, the community organization should consider training its staff to use humour to their advantage (James, 2001). Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  21. Question? • Can job developers/frontline practitioners be taught to use humour in their practice or is it “natural”? • Do you apply humour in your practice? If yes, how? If not, why? Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  22. Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto

  23. References Adams, S. (2011). Dilbert. Retrieved on July 11, 2011 from http://search.dilbert.com/search?p=Q&lbc=dilbert&uid=14572327&ts=custom&w=job Brookfield, S. (2006). The skillful teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Dormann, C., & Biddle, R. (2006). Humour in game-based learning. Learning, Media and Technology, 31(4), 411-424 Garner, R. L. (2006). Humor in pedagogy: How ha-ha can lead to AHA!. College Teaching, 54(1), 177-179. Glasenbergen, R. (2011). Business Cartoons, Cartoons About Business Topics by Randy Glasbergen. Retrieved on July 18, 2011 from James, D. (2001). A need for humor in online courses. College Teaching, 52(3), 93 – 94. Lawson, W. (2001). Engaging with humor. Adults Learning, 12(8), 15-18. Morrison, M., K. (2008). Using humour to maximize learning: The links between position emotions and education. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.James Shatz, M. A., & LoSchiavo, F. M. (2006). Brining life to online instruction with humour. Retrieved on February 23, 2009 from http://radicalpedagogy.icapp.org/content/issue7_2/shatz.html Tamargo-Weaver, S. & Wilson, C. (1997). Addiction counselors can benefit from appropriate humor in the work setting. Journal of Employment Counseling, 34, 108-114. Wanzer, M. B., Bainbridge Frymier, A., Wojtaszczyk, A. M. & Smith, T. (2006). Appropriate and inappropriate uses of humor by teachers. Communication Education, 55(2), 178-196. Workjoke Profession Joke (2009). Teachers Jokes. Retrieved March 8, 2009 from http://www.workjoke.com/teachers-jokes.html Humour in Job Development by Joanna Samuels, JVS toronto