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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Book review: Coaching Soup for the Cartoon Soul

I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it.
—Frank A. Clark

And that is what Jed Niederer, coauthor with Germaine Porché of Coaching Soup for the Cartoon Soul, did—looked at "problems" coaches help solve, found the humor, and created this easy and entertaining read.

You don't have to be a coach to appreciate the cartoons. "Opportunities for coaching are all around us—spouses, children, friends, relatives, and co-workers," Niederer says. "And the benefits from humor are pretty surprising."

For one, laughter releases endorphins, a chemical 10 times more powerful than the pain-relieving drug morphine, into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise. These endorphins can lead to a sense of well-being and optimism. And a good hearty laugh burns 3.5 calories!

Laughing and having fun on the job also make a positive difference. For instance:
  • Dr. David Abramis at Cal State Long Beach discovered that people who have fun on the job are more creative, more productive, better decision-makers, and get along better with co-workers. They also have fewer absentee, late, and sick days than people who aren't having fun.
  • A survey by Hodge-Cronin & Associates found that of 737 CEOs surveyed, 98 percent preferred job candidates with a sense of humor to those without.
  • Another survey indicated that 84 percent of the executives thought that employees with a sense of humor do a better job than people with little or no sense of humor.
  • Fun breaks up boredom and reduces fatigue.
So go out and have some fun, and consider checking out Coaching Soup, which will be released on August 14. Caveat: Don't be put off, as I was at first, by the "bathroom humor" on the front cover. What's inside more than makes up for it.

And if you're into the serious side of coaching, note that many of the cartoons reference coaching wisdom explored at more depth in Niederer's previous book, Coach Anyone about Anything. So you may just want to do a two-for-one.

P.S. On August 14th Niederer and Porché will be offering a special three book package— buy the set and get free downloadable gifts (even complete eBooks of new releases). If you can wait, however, you can go directly to Amazon now.


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