“Funny as it may sound, humor is absolutely essential to the success of any organization.”
Randall Munson (website 2004)
Think about a team, a project, or an initiative you were part of that was successful and that you have fond memories of. Do you recall if humor was experienced? Chances are, the answer is yes.
Studies have found that humor promotes teamwork, builds relationships, and improves results.
Humor has also been linked with our emotional intelligence competencies. According to Daniel Goleman,(EQ author/expert) “Research on humor at work reveals that a well-timed joke or playful laughter can stimulate creativity, open lines of communication, enhance a sense of connection and trust, and, of course make work more fun”.
Allan Filipowicz, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior found that humor, used both proactively and reactively in small group situations, could greatly facilitate communication in what could be difficult interpersonal situations.
Bryan Lattimore states that humor can be used:
- As a way to break the ice in stiff or uncomfortable business situations
- As an effective bonding technique – a wonderful way to build common ground with other employees
- As a way to break down resistance
- As a much-needed way to improve the content, enjoyment, and ultimately the productivity of meetings
- As a way to assign work when people can’t take any more
- As a wonderful way to ease and control tension
Herb Kelleher, (former CEO of Southwest Airlines) wanted the company to focus on fun and profit. He encouraged a corporate culture where employees were serious about their jobs, but took themselves lightly and shared laughter with their customers. Coincidentally, Southwest Airlines is consistently ranked high in “Best Company To Work” and “Most Admired” company.
Laughter is an outlet, a stress reducer, is energizing, and builds morale. And, it’s been found that workers and leaders with a good sense of humor do a better job and are more successful than those that don’t.
Are you using humor and laughter to improve results?