10 Reasons why humor is a key to success at work

“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower”

Tasteful humour is a success Key at work, but there’s a good chance your co-workers aren’t cracking jokes or packaging information with wit on a regular basis–and your office could probably stand to have a little more fun.

Humour, by its nature, tends to have an edge to it, so people typically tone it down at work, it’s hard to do well and easy to do badly. Plus, we all have a tendency to take ourselves way too seriously.

The amount or type of humor you’ll find in any given workplace depends almost entirely on the culture. In workplaces that encourage people to be themselves–that is less hierarchical and more innovative–people tend to be more open with their humor, even people who aren’t always comfortable sharing their humor tend to do so in more relaxed environments where the use of humour becomes second nature with everyone’s style.

Then there are workplaces with employees who tone down their humour, often with the desire to be taken more seriously, yet, this can backfire as people who take themselves overly seriously are often, ironically, taken less seriously by the people around them.

Good stress, Bad stress

You face a higher risk factor when joking around with your boss because you just don’t know how your light-heartedness may be taken. So, you generally find greater reticence to use humor with senior managers.

Other reasons workers might hold back: A fear of offending someone; fear of not being funny—that their humorous attempts will crash and burn; or the unwillingness to “get the ball rolling.”

Many leaders, especially introverts, don’t know how to safely encourage the use of more humor at work and are unsure how to express it in their own leadership style, many also simply cite a lack of time as a key dampening factor.  The desire is there, but they simply don’t know how to bring more humor into their busy work life.and use it as you Success Key.

Whatever the reason may be, if you or your colleagues tend to be dry and dull in the office, you’ll want to work on injecting more humour into your workday.

Dozens of surveys suggest that humour can be at least one of the keys to success. An International survey, for instance, found that 91% of executives believe a sense of humour is important for career advancement; while 84% feel that people with a good sense of humour do a better job. Another study found that the two most desirable traits in leaders were a strong work ethic and a good sense of humour.

Humour demonstrates “maturity and the ability to see the forest through the trees.” You don’t have to be a stand-up comedian, but well-placed humour that is clever and apropos to a business situation always enhances an employee’s career.

Here are 10 additional reasons why humour is a success Key at work:

People will enjoy working with you

People want to work with people they like, why wouldn’t you? You spend huge chunks of your waking hours at work, so you do not want it to be a death march. Humour–deftly employed–is a great way to win friends and influence people. You need to be funny, but not snarky (that’s not good for team building) and you can’t offend anyone.

Humour is a potent stress buster

In fact, it is a triple whammy, Humour offers a cognitive shift in how you view your stressors; an emotional response; and a physical response that relaxes you when you laugh.

It is humanizing

Humour allows both employees and managers to come together, realizing that we all seek common ground.

It puts others at ease

Humour is a way to break through the tension barrier. Research shows that humour is a fabulous tension breaker in the workplace, People who laugh in response to a conflict tend to shift from convergent thinking where they can see only one solution, to divergent thinking where multiple ideas are considered.

Ha + ha = aha!

Humour is a Sucess key ingredient in creative thinking, it helps people play with ideas, lower their internal critic, and see things in new ways. Humour and creativity are both about looking at your challenges in novel ways and about making new connections you have never thought about before. Humour establishes a fertile environment for innovation because people are more inspired when they are relaxed.

It helps build trust

You can build trust with the effective use of humour because humour often reveals the authentic person lurking under the professional mask, numerous studies suggest that people who share a healthy, positive sense of humour tend be more likable and are viewed as being more trustworthy. Humour is also viewed as sign of intelligence. All these characteristics, as well as the fact that humour is a fabulous icebreaker and can tear down walls, can help people build relationships in the workplace, and especially these days, relationships are critical to success.

It boosts morale

Humour boosts morale and retention while reducing turnover because employees look forward to coming to work, Employees like to work for and with others who have a sense of humour. We all prefer to have fun at work. It should not feel like an indentured servitude environment.

People who use humour tend to be more approachable

The more approachable you are, especially as a leader, the more honest and open people around you will be, and the more honest and open people tend to be, the more successful and innovative teams tend to be.

Humour can allow your company to stand out

It can help companies stand out and go beyond with their customer service, garnering them a huge loyal following, if you want to stand out from the pack, using humour with your service is an effective way to do that.

It can increase productivity

Humour creates an upbeat atmosphere that encourages interaction, brainstorming of new ideas, and a feeling that there are few risks in thinking outside the box. All that leads to greater productivity. It also stands to reason that if you are in a more jovial atmosphere, you will have more passion for what you do. Your work ethic will increase, and your enthusiasm will likely be contagious. It is a win-win for you and your employer.

For further information on coaching contact; Kevin on 07973440597 or stay tuned for more Success Key Articles.


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