Humor at Work: Fighting a Fear of Creativity and New Ideas

Fear can be a huge stumbling block when it comes to embracing

change or being creative at work. But it can help to identify

what exactly it is you are scared of. There are three common

types of fears associated with trying a new idea:

– Fear of the unknown

– Fear of failure

– Fear of looking stupid

If you are going to foster a fun, innovative workplace, then

address these fears head on. Talk about them openly. What

information will help you and your team reduce the unknowns?

What if you DO fail? Do you have a backup plan? Or, like the

software company Intuit, a system that actually rewards smart

failures to encourage people to try new things? And what can

you do to minimize the fear of anyone feeling stupid? Are

you creating the kind of culture that supports each other’s

ideas, that embraces a sense of self-effacing humor, and that

laughs in the face of new challenges?

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Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

During breakfast at a conference I spoke at a while back, I

noticed that in addition to the usual serving staff, there

were people in red vests serving coffee to everyone. Turns out

the red-vested folks were new employees and members of the

association taking part in their tradition that got all new

people involved and meeting everyone in a fun, relaxed way. So

create a ritual in your workplace that gets your new employees

engaged with everyone, or consider having the newbies wear

something unique for the first month (perhaps a funny badge)

so everyone knows to make an extra effort to make them feel

welcome.

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Deep Thought of the Week

“A person who smiles in the face of adversity already has a

scapegoat picked out.” Anonymous

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It’s a Wacky World

Today is “Ask a Stupid Question” day. So here are a few more

questions I was asked back in my park ranger days:

– Does your beautiful Canadian flag come in other colors?

– What’s the distance of the three mile hike?

– How long does the three-hour hike take to do?

– How many undiscovered lakes do you have around here?

– How do the elk know to cross at the elk crossing sign?

– How did I get here?

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Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011 www.humoratwork.com

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