In Neroli’s second article on how creativity can help your business and you as an entrepreneur, she looks at the character of the “Joker” (no, not the Batman Joker) and how it can help you to form connections and build relationships with people. You will also find a link to the character profile survey Neroli promised in her last article at the end of this article.
Hi again. Thanks for popping online and checking out my next article. I guess this really is the million-dollar question and we could answer it in a million different ways. For today, I’m just going to concentrate on one aspect of creativity that definitely helps to build relationships, and can facilitate super fast and fluid connections in the “know-like-trust” sales equation. It’s also an aspect of creativity that I find particularly enjoyable to be around and I always go back for more of.
I mentioned Dr. Stuart Brown’s play personalities in my last article, and how they’re connected to finding our unique forms of creative expression. He has defined the Joker as one of the 8 major play personalities. This is also an ancient archetypal player in the game of life. The Joker has always played a key role in accessing and expressing extraordinary insights and wisdom. As Dr. Brown says, “Humor is a central part of our evolution.”
But how does this aspect of creativity help with relationship building and making connections? I have a couple of stories about a few people who demonstrate how this works perfectly.
In my book, I talk about a great friend of mine, and an exceptional businesswoman, Anna Lisa Tortora. She owns and runs a business with her husband that produces, imports and exports fine foods nationally and internationally (www.viscofoods.com).
Over the years, I’ve watched Anna Lisa use her creativity in her business to build relationships and boost sales. One of the primary aspects of her creativity she engages to do this is her Joker play personality. On any given day that I visit, Anna Lisa reels off a few of the latest and finest jokes she’s been adding to her repertoire to get a giggle out of whomever crosses her path. This sense of shared enjoyment and laughter immediately facilitates connection and builds rapport with those around her.
Some people are naturally adept at this gift of remembering and telling jokes, and making people laugh. When played out with finesse, the Joker aspect of creativity forms an instant connection with others. The ability to make a connection and build rapport covers the first two elements of “know and like” in the “know-like-trust”, sales equation. Being skilled in the art of the Joker can have a profound effect on your ability to create connections and build relationships with ease.
I’ve also observed Anna Lisa in action when she’s communicating with clients and staff. Her ability to defuse tension with humor and facilitate fluid interactions with others using her Joker play personality is an invaluable asset in her business. A good example is when things are getting strained in a work environment as deadlines loom and challenges hit an all time high.
I’ve watched Anna Lisa’s Joker play personality bring some welcome comic relief to release some of the tension and bring things back into perspective. One of the primary roles of the Joker is to bring insights and perspective to any given situation, but they also offer a valuable service in their ability to relieve stress and tension with humor.
Now I’d like to move on to a businessman whom I’ve seen engage the Joker aspect of his creativity to have a positive impact in building relationships and boosting sales. I’ve known Kerwin Rae for a number of years, and been a keen observer of his somewhat meteoric rise to become one of the world’s number one experts on influence.
I recently saw Kerwin in action at a two day event, which involved over eight thousand people in the audience, and a dozen other speakers including Sir Richard Branson and Tony Robbins. I was particularly interested in seeing how Kerwin accessed his creativity to make a lasting impression on the audience that was swamped with a lot of information from world-class speakers and businesspeople. I was also interested in seeing how he used his creativity to build relationships and boost sales in the 90 minutes he had on stage.
So, how did Kerwin’s creativity accomplish all this in those 90 minutes? From the beginning of the presentation to the end, Kerwin was reeling off funny stories and anecdotes to illustrate his information and looking like he was having an absolute blast whilst up there. He had the audience cracking up laughing, and for the time he was presenting, he kept eight thousand people entertained, engaged and open to the information he was sharing.
Kerwin was drawing on his Joker play personality for much of the time he was on stage, and at the same time, engaging the audience in a form of collective play. Dr. Brown refers to the increased level of neural connections being made in the brain when he says, “Nothing lights up the brain like play”. By engaging the audience in a form of collective play, Kerwin was able to keep people interested, open and attentive as he shared his information.
Kerwin’s ability to connect with the audience using his creativity and build relationship in that time meant he was able to cover those aspects of the sales equation of “know, like and trust”. The remaining part of the equation of “need and provide” was not necessarily covered by this aspect of his creativity, but as a leader in his field, he successfully fulfilled those criteria as I watched a substantial number of people lining up at the sales table at the end of the presentation to purchase his products and services.
There is a very serious point to be made here; being skilled in the creative expression of the Joker play personality is NOT something that can be faked. You can learn to express it more effectively, but it needs to be something you are authentically drawn to engage in to begin with. Both Anna Lisa and Kerwin are naturally gifted Jokers, and their sense of humor bubbles up and spills over into any interactions they have, whether personal or business.
If you try to be funny when it’s not something that comes naturally to you, it will more than likely have the opposite effect of what you are hoping to accomplish. It’s easy to turn people off if they think you’re being inauthentic or faking it. This goes for every aspect of your creativity. You can certainly improve and build upon your gifts, but trying to be someone you are not is the best way to have your desired outcome backfire on you.
One more thing to note at the end of this article, each of the people I have described are at the top of their game due to a lot of consistent hard work, and providing quality products and services. Just because they’re funny and skilled at engaging in the Joker aspect of their creativity doesn’t mean instant success or cash in their pockets. It’s one extremely useful and highly lucrative aspect of creativity, but a combination of skills and creative abilities are needed to be successful in business.
The great news is, if this isn’t one of your creative gifts, there’s a massive array of other forms of creativity that can bring the same results to your business. I will be writing more about these other aspects in future articles.
If you would like to know how you score in the Creative Character profile for the Joker play personality, you can do the survey by clicking on this link.
For those of you who have waited patiently for the link to be fixed whilst we’ve recovered from crazy flooding, thank you.
For anyone interested in knowing more about this aspect of creativity, I’ve added a short video on my website that covers how the Joker is an asset to your personal relationships. Once again, thanks for reading this post, and here’s to your creative success!