Laughable or not?

Time means nothing
I think a sense of humour is a great quality for a leader to possess.

Moreso if they can share this humour throughout the organisation in an appropriate way then humour becomes a culture setting strength

However there are also ways to get this horribly wrong – and it is no laughing matter.

I think the landscape around this area has changed significantly in the last 20 years.

Bawdy and poor taste jokes thankfully have diminished significantly in most organisations.

At the same time I wonder – has the ability for the organisation to have a happy and healthy sense of humour, to be able to laugh at and with itself, gone as well?

Perhaps the nexus of the internet’s killing of the personally delivered ‘joke’ and the shift in standards of behaviour to much more appropriate norms has taken with it the art of great humour?

Further I wonder if there will be a backlash, and of what nature and to what extent?

I often think my posts are too serious- I have this little guy running round in the back of my head saying – “Lighten up, lighten up!”. It illustrates well the challenge of leading with serious intent while demonstrating a sense of humour.

Why is humour important?:

    It lifts our spirits
    Executed well there is more than an ounce of truth an insight in many good jokes
    Humour can be used to deliver important messages very softly
    Executed well it appropriately reduces stress and negative emotion around errors/mistakes/omissions.
    Surely a client seeing a happy smiling workforce is better than them seeing a humourless and dour one?

Here are some do’s and don’ts

    • Don’t mock
    • Beware – wit is either the lowest or highest form of humour, it depends on how and when it is used.
    • Sarcasm is just not funny in any way
    • Laugh with others but only if appropriate
    • Laugh at yourself (or never at all)
    • Laugh with people not at them
    • Set the standard for good and positive humour by what you say and what you listen too
    • Sexist, racist, bawdy jokes are seldom if ever funny, steer well clear.

How much humour in your work? In your workplace? At home?

My favourite punch line:

“To a pig, time means nothing.”

When we meet I’ll happily tell you what precedes it.

2 Replies to “Laughable or not?”

  1. Dear Richard,
    I believe that humor works like mental tonic which helps us to de-stress, re-energize and rejuvenate at home and workplace.It also fosters relations, reputations,recognitions and productivity as well. Humor creates homely climate and alleviate minor and subtle differences. But the major question comes- how much ? I believe that it depends upon the moods of person or group. Humor is fine as long as both persons sense the same meaning. But when the meaning is understood differently by each person, then it creates negative feelings. So, before making humor one has to understand the other person. Any preconceived ideas or biasness can turn humor in other direction.So, people with similar interest and attitude are in better position to share humor. Today, humor is used at people with hidden intention. Intention has changed the sense and feeling of humor. People make humor pointing towards someone.
    I like the quote ‘ to a pig time means nothing”. I take it as share your ideas, feelings or thoughts with someone who has feelings and sensitivity. Dissimilar interest can antagonize you. Therefore, sharing of feelings or ideas with informers can hinder your plan.

    1. Dear Ajay,
      thank you so much for that addition. All I can add is I agree entirely – and your interpreting of my punch line from a three minute joke is almost picture perfect. Have a great day, you made mine better :).Richard

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