Workplaces are not usually the first to come to mind when you think of something funny.
It’s easy to get caught up in the fast-paced business world and corporate setting, and chances are your colleagues aren’t all too focused on banter but sometimes focused on things that are downers. But when tensions are high and everyone could use a good laugh…that’s the perfect time to use a bit of, tasteful, humor?
Humor in the workplace is not the most common sight, but nobody has gotten successful by sticking to the status quo. If you’re a business owner or managing a team, using humor to solve problems is no joke.
Lately humor has been confusing and what one thinks is humorous is hurtful and what another thinks is hurtful was only meant to break the tension. Stay with me a moment…
Sure, it can be unusual at first to crack jokes when employees are facing issues. But shared smiles can go a long way in achieving business objectives.
In fact, research has shown that:
- Leaders with a sense of humor are seen as 27% more motivating and admired then their more serious counterparts.
- Employees are 15% more engaged.
- Teams are more than twice as likely to solve creativity challenges.
When it comes to securing objectives, sometimes all that’s standing in your way is a pressing issue that is hard to solve. Tactfully injecting humor to solve problems can in turn bring your teams closer together and shape a positive outlook. All in all, building blocks for a productive work culture.
From lack of engagement and communication breakdowns to high stress levels, or just general mundanity, many workplace issues can be tackled with levity and good wit. Here’s how you can use humor to solve problems in your workplace now:
- Avoid put downs and mean jokes – Do away with misconceptions that jokes need to be offensive, silly, or at the expense of people to get a laugh. Remember, an office is still a professional setting, and these are your professional coworkers. Stick to good-natured jest that everyone will find funny.
- Be tasteful – Similarly, acting goofy may ramp up the laughter, but that may not be what you want to achieve in a business setting. If you want to solve problems well, you will need your coworkers or employees to treat you with respect. Dressing up in clown costumes or engaging in slapstick will not necessarily achieve the right objectives.
- Self-deprecation goes a long way – Unlike slapstick humor, it can certainly lift spirits when you are willing to poke fun at yourself. Research has shown that self-awareness, an identifying trait of emotional intelligence, can be spotted in leaders with a self-deprecating sense of humor. While it can be off-putting to make fun of others’ shortcomings, owning up to your own with a smile on your face can be a great way to get people to open up to you and solve office problems. Nobody’s perfect, right?
- Find the right place and timing – You may find it hard to inject humor into the workplace, thinking: where do I begin? While the office is a professional setting, there is no harm in bringing levity in, even in serious situations, to aid in lightening the mood. Maybe you could add in a comical line at the end of your sales pitch, or sneak in some dry humor at lunch. It could also be your key to breaking the ice on strenuous days.
Happy employees are vital to the longevity of any company. Using humor can not only solve problems, it can bring a dull office to life.
After all, what’s life without a bit of laughter?
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