095: Comedian Kathy Klotz-Guest Talks About Achieving Your Life’s Purpose Through Laughter and Embracing Your Humanity
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Why is a sense of humor and humanity so important that you should bring both to work and keep them in your life? In fact, a sense of playfulness can be your superpower. It certainly was for this week’s guest: Kathy Klotz-Guest.
In today’s episode, Kathy shares her story as a woman in technology who excelled in Silicon Valley by being funny and smart. We delved into the #1 fear most of us share: the fear of judgment especially by others (particularly from our coworkers). Kathy also shares how you can avoid living a fragmented life at work and instead bring more of your personality to the table as an asset. We talk about what you may need to feel psychologically safe enough to let your guard down a bit and show your humanity.
Kathy shares where the magic is as well as other lessons she has learned from her ‘improv’ experiences, including a concept called the “yes, and.” Hopefully, after listening to this episode, you’ll be inspired to add more humor and a spirit of playfulness into your life.
I also want to invite you to grab your free copy of my Courage Makerspace Playbook. In this playbook, you’ll have an opportunity to grow and test your own courage muscles. See where they are today and where they can use some strengthening so that you can get more out of your life. Pick any one of my 7 specific exercises centered on boosting your courage so you get to a point where you rise up and you and you can finally be your real, authentic, and playful self. You see, approaching your life purpose or going after your dreams is a lot easier if you are intentionally playful along the way; and in my playbook, I give you my process.
Simply go to www.melissallarena.com/courage. Once you receive your playbook, turn to page 29 for an exercise that will help you intentionally add playful experiences into your life. You will also notice how intentionally planning for playful experiences each month will get you to a space where you’ll be making your responsibilities work around those playful and memorable experiences and not the other way around. Grab your Courage Makerspace right now if you want to rather approach your life purpose and mission laughing, than being burnt out.
About Kathy Klotz-Guest
Kathy Klotz-Guest is a speaker, author, comedian, and former tech exec who uses tools of improvisation and humor to help leaders, teams - even companies - be more human and communicate like humans. By helping people bring more of their humorous selves to work, we can lead positive change and create safe spaces for bold, "unsafe" ideas that matter. The founder of Keeping it Human, Kathy trained at ComedySportz and at LA’s Second City, and she and her work have been featured in Forbes and The Huffington Post. Inc.com named her book, “Stop Boring Me!” a must-read for leaders. It was one of the top 10 humor and communication books on Amazon in 2018.
Kathy has graduate degrees from Stanford University and UC Berkeley, and performs stand-up comedy and improv as well as teaches it in theater and business settings. Her 12 yr old still thinks she’s funny, though she knows that the window is closing very soon. She is working on her 3rd book and just launched an improv and business course on LinkedIn Learning called 'Leading in the Moment.'
Share this episode with a people leader whom you know is secretly a funny person who might just need a nudge to share their gift with others! Encourage them to use their superpower by sharing this conversation with them.
Curiosity: Consider the idea of saying “yes, and” in your life so that you can follow your hunches and stay the course with whatever might be necessary for you to do during your day-job
Creativity: Create or find your own safe space. Watch how creative you can be when you feel psychologically safe.
Courage: Honor yourself and your ideas and show up for others. It’s time to stop living a fragmented life and start becoming more of yourself. Embrace who you are and that’s where the magic is!
Leadership: Leaders worth following have a sense of humor and humility. If you take yourself so seriously, you can't laugh at your mistakes and embrace your own humanity.
Humanity: We all have inside of us this capacity for lightheartedness and joy. If we don't want that as part of who we are, then we're not connecting with all of who we are.
Fear: The number one fear is people are afraid of being judged by their co-workers, we're afraid of judgment.
Perspective: Be honest about the reality that some people will not like who you are. Show up more and the world around you will start to change.
Authenticity: If you can be more you during the hiring process, the right employer, the right culture, the right team, and their propensity to accept the real you will reveal itself.
Humor: People feel more comfortable with humor when it's organic and when there's psychological safety.
Culture: When the people in an organization aren't laughing, it could mean that fear is high and psychological safety is low. And so, look at the net you put under people. Self-aware leaders who are progressive are open to the challenge, and psychological safety starts with them.
Adapt: We were born improvisers. Every day, everybody in life and in business has to adapt. They have to pivot and the greatest pivot involves COVID.
Playfulness: Play is not the opposite of serious. It's the opposite of depression. Reclaim playfulness starting with doing the little things and whatever works for you. Whatever feeds your soul is valid play. There's no one way to play.
Play in the workplace: There's no wrong way to do it. Play a little bit in every meeting. Meetings don't have to be boring!
Safety: As leaders, make it a safe place for people to speak of how they feel, and that kind of safety opens people up. Play is both a top-down and bottoms-up approach. It doesn't excuse leaders from doing their share to create psychological safety.
Joy space: Make sure you do something that brings you joy every day. Whether that’s teaching or listening to music, whatever that looks like, create these places where you find joy and feel safe.
Self-talk: We all have the universal fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of being wrong, and the fear of being judged. And you've got to rewire the self-talk.
The inner critic: Whenever you're criticizing somebody else's creation, you are feeding your inner critic such that when you go to do something creative, it will turn on you because you fed it with other people. So practice grace with other people.
Links to continue to learn from:
Join the human storytelling community: https://www.keepingithuman.com/
Want to grab your free copy of the Courage Makerspace (™) Playbook?
Download the Courage Makerspace(™) here www.melissallarena.com/courage
Boost your courage in 7-days using the exact courage design tools that have worked for both me and my clients. Grab your free playbook instantly so that you can discover how to:
- Figure out what makes you tick
- Be more accountable and not procrastinate
- Overcome imposter syndrome
- Stop caring about what others think
- Progress despite self-doubt
- Manage anxiety
- Ask for help
You will have a step-by-step playbook to help you finally fulfill your life purpose! Do not miss out on this free opportunity as it will not be available for long.
Want to continue the conversation?
Find me on Instagram! You can read my daily mini-blogs centered on the same three topics that my podcast features: creativity, courage, and curiosity. I believe that without all three it would be impossible to solve the challenges we were each uniquely made to solve. Wouldn’t you agree? I’m easy to find on Instagram @melissallarena
Rather keep it professional?
Let’s connect on LinkedIn. I encourage every single podcast listener to connect with me.