Humor at Work: A Valuable Tool for the ClimateJune 20, 2018
Are you one of those leaders who believe that using humor at work with colleagues diminishes your authority? Or that laughing with your employees is inappropriate? That there is a time to laugh and a time to work? Or that there is no correlation between humor at work and the success of a leader?
If so, you are putting aside a powerful tool to improve the work climate, and you are giving up the opportunities to foster the development of employee skills, motivate them and even inspire and engage them, to be active and interested. Not only does humor at work help to express your enthusiasm and encouragement. It can also be used to minimize mistakes that, most of the time, are unintentional and to soften what you have to say to an employee by helping to create the trust report.
Workplace humor can improve communication with colleagues and employees
Of course, not all leaders are human relations specialists. But those who develop these skills can better lead. As a senior executive, you will probably want to have a positive attitude towards the behavior of the employees you lead because you know very well that the quality of the relations with the direction is one of the important factors influencing the productivity.
Some tips to introduce humor at work
- Start by observing and paying attention to the funny incidents and anecdotes that are happening around you at work.
- Read some good books of fun quotes, comic stories or jokes that apply to you or your work situation.
- Focus your humor on yourself (self-deprecation) and your work situation, and not on others, especially if you do not know them. Avoid sarcasm and irony. Humor should be used to reduce stress, not increase it.
- If an appropriate humorous response comes to your mind, do not hesitate to say it. Be spontaneous! Laughter is very often the result of the unexpected.
- Most employees stop laughing in the presence of the boss. Promote an atmosphere of cooperation by participating to a certain extent in their humor. If you feel safe enough to laugh with them, the confidence ratio will be even closer.
- If you have to make presentations or speak, win your audience by punctuating your speech with humor. This also has the advantage of capturing their attention. And if you miss your effect, there are ready-made phrases that you can personalize and get you out of trouble. For example, “Too bad, it was the only comic moment of my presentation!” Or “Now, I know why I did not choose to do The National School of Humor”.
- Feel flattered if, after teasing an employee, your employee feels comfortable enough to tease you in turn, provided, of course, not to ridicule the other.
The importance of trust
Maybe it’s not important to you that your employees like you or not. It is true that it is not essential for the work to be done. But an employee will be more loyal to an executive they appreciate and trust. Even if the work in these years is particularly demanding, you can undoubtedly help to make the climate pleasant and enjoy the work.
Humor at work between colleagues
But humor at work is not useful for managers and often spontaneously fuses between work colleagues, especially when they are also friends outside of work. This allows for an acceptable breakdown of the inevitable frustrations and control over aggression, especially when serving the customer. At first glance, seeing employees joking together may seem unproductive. On the contrary, when used properly and in moderation, workplace humor helps employees do their job well, especially when it is repetitive and annoying.
In closing, work to live, but never live to work. Of course work is essential to life, to well-being, makes you feel useful, provides self-esteem … But work is not the purpose of life.
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