The Funny Thing About Humor in the Workplace

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Ken Larson

humor in the workplace

Humor in the workplace works!

No, we’re not joking!

Understanding each other’s sense of humor is absolutely critical when attempting to establish clear, concise communication systems and processes

Once you can successfully relate to your teammates with sarcasm and humor, you’ve established a relationship of understanding that can be utilized both personally and professionally. 

Now you can pepper in some quality punchlines on your way to the deadline.

Okay, now let’s talk about why funny shit works.

How Does Humor & Sarcasm Promote a Healthy and Enjoyable Work Environment?

  • Humor promotes productivity

    In a study documented by the book,Humor in the Workplace…,” 81% of individuals surveyed said they’ve experienced more productivity with humor in the workplace.

  • Humor is closely related to likability and promotions

    In a study published by B.J. Avolio in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bottom Line,” certain employees’ bonuses correlated positively with how others viewed their sense of humor. Simply put, funny people found it easier to work their way to the top.

  • Humor establishes credibility through confidence

    Many individuals who utilize humor as a tool are perceived to be more credible than those who don’t. Humor is closely related to confidence, regardless of its accuracy.

  • Humor helps us work together

    Why Humor Makes You More Creative” by Drake Baer is a fantastic book that speaks of the benefits of humor in regard to relationship growth. When you share laughs, “…you’re mirroring not only one another’s body language, but also hormonal and neuronal activity, prompting a mutual investment in each other’s well-being.”

  • Humor decreases stress

    When you find humor in stressful, threatening, or negative situations, a nice, solid punchline will help change that to a positive feeling. This helps your team cope with stress and a hard day’s work more appropriately. 

  • Humor eases and diffuses conflict and turmoil

    Comedy is the great equalizer.
    It helps bridge the gap between different thought processes while offering an opportunity for two or more parties to share a unique understanding.

    Well, as long as the joke doesn’t suck!
    And if it does, we laugh both at AND with the person who told it instead.

Most importantly, humor inspires others to listen.

Consistent use of good humor makes people want to hear more of what you have to say.
I say “good” humor, because the opposite is true if you tell bad jokes.

How Do I Guide Culture and Utilize Sarcasm While Maintaining a Professional Environment?

  • Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  • Take your job VERY seriously.

There is a time and a place for everything: Sarcasm in the workplace included.

Why Sarcasm Specifically?

Sarcasm utilizes irony and mockery to showcase a point or perspective that is seemingly opposite of what the person means.

If you’re at a position in your professional relationship where you understand where the irony and mockery stems from and when it’s being used, you’ve conquered a communication barrier.

If used properly, humor and sarcasm can help develop both your personal and professional relationships. Not everyone is capable of controlling the room with comedy, but with practice, you’ll get there.

What’s the last joke you told?
When’s the last time someone laughed at one of your anecdotes?
When’s the last time you poked fun at someone… or yourself?

Use those unique situations as communication tools.

Soon, you’ll notice a morale boost and an increased employee interest.

If you’re a business owner from Calgary and need help utilizing humor to grow as a leader, let’s talk!

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