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

Would you have thought that the most effective and successful leaders use laughter to increase productivity, build relationships, and improve results?

Humor, properly used, will positively influence those around you, promote a sense of comfort and confidence, and reduce tension in individuals and teams.

Numerous studies have been conducted and have found:

  • Humor is a powerful form of persuasion
  • Humor promotes teamwork and camaraderie
  • Humor stimulates creativity
  • Humor improves lines of communication

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”.

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 

Like any leadership behavior, the use of humor requires skill. For some using humor is a natural talent, for others it’s awkward. Tip: Avoid humor that is sexist, ethnic, political or religious since this is usually at someone’s expense, and is likely to be disruptive and ill received.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and give humor a try! Given that humor impacts the power of persuasion and communication, promotes teamwork, stimulates creativity and effectiveness, and builds trust, are you effectively leveraging humor and laughter?