Although I tried to ignore the limits of my anatomy, especially during extra training in Jiu-Jitsu and Taekwondo, I never got close to a full split. It is now 2020, 32 years later and, until Corona, I had lost my excess kilos. I can add the first season of Jean-Claude Van Johnson to my list of favorite series. In this comic Amazon Prime series, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself as a world-famous movie star. But it doesn't stop there. This role is a cover for his true persona, Johnson. Under this alias he is a celebrated undercover agent.

In addition to the original plot, the series garnered high praise. Not least because our "muscles from Brussels" dares to make fun of himself. There is a hilarious scene in which he takes quite a beating after his famous horizontal split fails at one point. My beautiful daughters, both teenagers, immediately loved the show and the actor Jean-Claude Van Damme. Hence we are planning a JCVD revival festival, with old videos and some embarrassing attempts on my part to imitate that perfect split. Anyway, Jean-Claude's popularity is back where it should be, so I'll consider my stiff bones a contribution towards that.

©Jean Claude Van Damme

Not only in the film industry is it useful to combine humor and self-mockery. First of all, science shows that being able to laugh at yourself improves your mood. Self-mockery also contributes to the development of personal resilience and makes people give you a little more credit. The latter in a figurative sense which is a shame in this time of crisis, but that is an aside. In any case, using self-mockery is a means to lower the threshold. That is essential if we want to foster a climate of creativity in our organizations. Defensive egos have no place in such a climate, full stop. 

In addition, humor not only contributes to more job satisfaction, but also to greater results. It is unfortunate that there are few initiatives around "laughter at work". Now admit, when was the last time you went to a meeting and thought "It's going to be fun again”? On the contrary, I recently attended a workshop on "wellbeing" and was surprised that my rare fits of laughter were caused by inside jokes. So let's go further than the obvious job satisfaction and ask ourselves "How do we make our work fun?" After all, the Joker had a point with his "Why so serious?”.

Finally, humor can help us to deal with difficult situations and people. Just look at all the jokes around Covid19 that are circulating. Laughter has a release effect. Wouldn't it be an idea to swap the umpteenth workshop on dealing with difficult customers with a creative brainstorm on "How can we laugh at our woes?". I am ready to moderate it and will find a gap in my agenda somewhere.       

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have some stretches to do.

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