Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So You Think That's Funny? Good!

Things getting a bit too serious and stressful around the ole think tank? I bet you didn’t know that, besides making it a more enjoyable place to work, adding a bit of humor can significantly enhance your own professional development. In a survey conducted by Robert Half International, 91% of executives surveyed consider a sense of humor important to career advancement. The other 9%’s last name was Scrooge.

A chuckle here and there can help you build rapport with the staff around you, encourage open communication, and contribute to a positive work environment overall. And, possibly most importantly, a comic touch can work to relieve tension on even the most stressful days (even if that’s every day).

But keep in mind that not all fun and games are well received. It's crucial to take into consideration your organization's, and your co-workers', perceptions when it comes to comic relief. Humor should be work appropriate and never mean-spirited or at the expense of others.

Here are some tips to keep things on the up and up:
Just say no to sarcasm
People often use humor as an indirect way of criticizing others. "I can't believe you're here on time -- what's the occasion?" Sarcasm is rarely a good idea, so keep these types of comments to yourself.

Be the butt of your own joke
Go ahead, poke fun at your peculiarity’s. This can put others at ease when you’re around, and you don't risk offending someone else by making him or her the target. Just be sure to keep your comments light - you don't want your co-workers to think your attempt at humor is a cry for help.

Laugh with others
You don’t have to be the court jester. You can be perceived as having a great sense of humor without ever telling a joke. Just tune in to the humor styles of those around you and share in the fun.

Creating a fun culture at work can bring about positive advantages such as improving communication, reducing stress, and increasing productivity. So don't be afraid to flex the ole funny bone once in awhile - just be sure you do it in an appropriate way.


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