How Humor Helps with Critical Thinking

Why Humor is Critical

Does tapping into your sense of humor help you develop your

critical thinking skills? I think it likely does. Consider

what comedians do – they question authority, challenge

assumptions and typically play the role of an outside observer

looking in. Any workplace that values innovation and creativity,

that strives for continuous improvement, and that lays

claim to being a “learning organization” needs to nurture

these same traits in all its employees. Innovation, continuous improvement

and real learning require the need to  challenge  assumptions, question

authority and take a dispassionate step back to examine the big picture.

Taking on the outsider role as  comedians do, can help you see your own

workplace, products,  services and challenges through the eyes of a new employee,

customer or competitor.

So short of offering up standup comedy classes (don’t laugh,

some creative organizations have done just that), what can you

do? Some companies have brought in comedians or improv troops

to poke fun at their own practices as a way of being critically challenged,

so that’s an option.  More than anything though, it’s  a matter of encouraging

a more lighthearted approach at work.  It’s about not getting in the way of

humor, even humor that might  be a tad sarcastic at times. It’s about developing

your own  inner comedic mindset about workplace issues.

And it’s making  sure, if you’re a leader, that you’re not creating an

oppressive environment that  discourages not only humor, but the many

positive by-products humor leads to.

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Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Summer is a great time to think of creative ways to put your

children to work in fun ways. No, I’m not advocating breaking

any child labor laws, but here is one fun thing you can do:

to celebrate a colleague or key client’s birthday, leave a

voice mail happy birthday song greeting from your 6 year-old

daughter, 4 year-old nephew or, if you’re desperate for cute

talent, try your neighbor’s parrot Bob.

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Deep Thought of the Week

“Wisdom is divided into two parts: a) having a great deal to

say, and b) not saying it.” Anonymous

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It’s a Wacky World

Today is official “Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day”, a day that

I believe was invented by your webmaster. You should also know

that Thursday, July 7, is official Chocolate Day and Strawberry

Sundae Day. And Friday, July 8th, is SCUD Day – “Savor the Comic,

Unplug the Drama” -a day to encourage people with too much drama

in their lives to take a deep breath, relax, and look at the

funnier side of life.

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Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011 www.humoratwork.com

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