The Hump Day Humor at Work E-zine

  • Sunday Night Sleeplessness

    Any guess as to what night of the week insomnia levels peak?

    Yes, Sunday night sleeplessness is, according to surveys,

    rampant. Which reminds me of the dread so many of us felt as

    kids at the thought of returning to school. Today, some of

    those same anxious kids are now anxious adults in bigger

    clothing. But surely now we’re anxious over entirely different

    issues? Such as …

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  • Can humor make you a better negotiator?

    Whether it’s pitching an idea to your team, divvying up the

    workload on a project or haggling over your teenager’s request

    for an allowance raise, we all negotiate far more often than

    we probably realize. So the question is, can a little humour

    help our case?

    A study described in the book, “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven

    Ways to Be Persuasive” by Steven J. Martin, showed how …

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  • Learning to be Creative

    According to a study by Harvard Business professor Clayton

    Christensen, 80% of a person’s creativity is a learned or

    acquired skill. In other words, as I’ve been trying to tell

    you oh-so-often, creativity is not something you are just

    born with. It’s not magical. It’s not something either you

    have or don’t have. So, what are you doing to remind yourself

    and your team on a …

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  • Silliness at Work

    In Praise of a Little Silliness

    There’s an escalator at the Milwaukee convention center that

    has a button next to it that reads: Push to Play Polka. You can

    then enjoy listening to a nice polka as you ride the escalator.

    Reminds me a bit of the Volkswagen Fun Theory campaign I wrote

    about last year, where subway riders were enticed to opt for

    the stairs …

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  • Some Worrying Advice

    We all deal with sea gull colleagues who focus on the negative,

    but what about our own sea gull voices? Here’s a few random tips

    on dealing with those pesky negative thoughts that pop up in

    our own minds:

    – Set aside a specific time to worry about something (we

    did this in meetings, and called it the “whine and cheese”

    portion of the meeting)

    – Always …

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  • Humor at Work: Encouraging Conversations in the Workplace

    Given that 50% of all e-mails supposedly have a tonal issue

    (as in the recipient is unsure how to read your tone), coupled

    with a study by the University of Western Ontario which found

    that water cooler conversations at work improve productivity,

    what are you doing to encourage more face-to-face time, less

    face-to-computer time? How about a technology-free day or a

    technology-free hour once a day? …

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  • Boost Creativity, Destroy Silos with Job Swap Days

    Southwest Airlines has a “Walk-a-Mile” program where employees

    can sign up to work a day in a totally different department.

    Many organizations have such programs, and find tremendous value

    in them.

    Not only do swap days help employees develop new skills and

    clarify different career path options, they also help break

    down barriers, build trust, foster new relationships, and

    improve communication. What’s not to love about this …

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  • Humor at Work: Fun Promotional Events Generate FREE Publicity!

    Here’s another example of a business capitalizing on a little

    creativity and fun to get some free publicity. The Lower

    Mainland Eccotique Spa is offering a “confess and de-stress”

    spa package for Vancouver Stanley Cup riot suspects. Any

    suspected hooligans can turn themselves in, get their

    fingerprints taken, and receive a relaxing spa treatment.

    Are any of the rioters going to take them up on the …

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  • Can Sarcasm Boost Creative Thinking? Seriously?

    Since the root meaning of the term sarcasm is to “tear at the

    flesh like a dog,” and because there are a few studies

    that suggest that a high use of sarcastic humor correlates to

    higher levels of stress and possibly even heart disease, then

    I usually suggest that people try to minimize their use of

    sarcasm at work. Sarcasm can also create misunderstanding and

    conflict, …

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  • Humor at Work: What if It’s You Who’s Driving People Crazy at Work?

    Are you inadvertently driving your co-workers nuts? Chances are,

    most people don’t realize when their behavior is annoying the

    heck out of everyone. A LinkedIn survey of 17,000 professionals

    found that the top U.S. annoyance is having your food taken

    from the office fridge;83% of Brazilians ranked office gossip

    as the top pet peeve; 74% of workers from India cited annoying

    cell phone ringtones; 40% of …

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