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.
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.
Deep Thought of the Week
“Wisdom is divided into two parts: a) having a great deal to
say, and b) not saying it.” Anonymous
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.
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011 www.humoratwork.com
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Richard Dansereau, President, NAPA Autopro BDG
“Michael Kerr is one of the best speakers I have seen. I highly recommend him!”
Veronica D. Bouvier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Aspen Properties Ltd.
“Mike held the full attention of our senior management team for a full FOUR hour
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Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics