No really, we’re not joking. When leaders like to laugh, employees are 15% more engaged and teams are twice as likely to solve a creativity challenge. An oft-cited Robert Half survey 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.” And studies have even shown that a humorous quip at the end of a sales pitch can increase a customer’s willingness to pay by 18%. It literally pays to be funny.
So, how does it work? It’s said that “laughter is the closest distance between two people” and that’s because it works like a social glue. Not only does it make us feel better (thanks to the extra endorphins and oxytocin that the brain releases) but when shared between people, it strengthens relationships because it suggests that they see the world in the same way. Even reminiscing about moments of shared laughter causes couples to report being 23% more satisfied in their relationships.
Granted, being funny at work can be a bit of a minefield. But it is possible to hone your sense of humour and learn to deploy it more effectively. Start by testing some jokes on friends before unleashing them on colleagues, to ensure they’re neither offensive or hurtful.
It’s also okay to be a little self-deprecating, particularly if you’re the boss, as it shows you don’t take yourself too seriously. Just be mindful if you’re more junior as you run the risk of undermining yourself if you constantly make fun of your abilities.
Never aim your punchlines at those who are below you in the office hierarchy – neither funny or clever – and if you find yourself frequently ending your punchlines with “it’s just a joke” you should probably rethink what you’re sharing.
And finally, even if a joke or two falls flat, or you say something silly that makes you want to die a little on the inside, be safe in the knowledge that you will never, ever be as embarrassing as this.
Like what you’ve read? We can recommend our article on dragging yourself out of your procrastination rut. Yes, you can do it! But first, read all about it HERE.