13 Oct Humor in the Workplace
While humor certainly makes you popular with friends, who would’ve guessed that according to a Robert Half International survey, 91% of executives believe a good sense of humor is important to career advancement. Research from institutions such as Wharton, MIT, and the London Business School have come up with similar findings on the positive effects of humor in the workplace. After all, a sense of humor makes for great team solidifying, breaks down team tensions from stress, builds morale, and finally and most heartwarmingly, allows for employees and managers to seek a common ground in laughing together.
Humor is also a key ingredient in creative thinking and is viewed as a sign of trustworthiness, as well as intelligence. According to workplace expert and author Lynn Taylor, ‘ well-placed humor that is clever and apropos to a business situation always enhances an employees career.’ Context is key. Self-deprecation, light teasing with colleagues you have known and worked with a long time, witty comments on a situation, and funny disarming comments on worrisome situations, are things that’ll evoke a chuckle from most co-workers.
Injecting humor into the workplace is a form of behavioral change in the culture of a workplace, but what really makes it unique as a behavioral tactic is that it is not a culture change that moves top to bottom, from executives and high-level managers creating a more light atmosphere by introducing humor into their interactions with employees, but employees can also have some autonomy over the atmosphere of their workplace and take matters into their own hands by adding lightness to interactions with their colleagues. Tasteful, well-timed, appropriate humor can break through barriers and create greater cohesion in a workplace, by allowing managers and employers to find a common ground in humor.
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