Workplace blogs
Workplace blogs

Humor at Work: Grin and BEAR It?

Having read a few studies about how simply smiling can shift

your emotions for the better, I was interested in a recent study

that suggested the opposite is sometimes true! A Michigan State

University study reported in the Academy of Management Journal

found that customer-service workers who faked a smile throughout

the day actually worsen their mood and withdraw from work. The

good news: workers who smiled as a result of cultivating

positive thoughts (thinking about their vacation; their child;

their dog)improved their moods and withdrew less.

So maybe the old “fake it ‘til you make it” approach isn’t always

the way to go, unless you accompany it by shifting your internal

dialogue to shift your mood. Another study, reported in the

journal of Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, suggests

that shifting your mood might just pay off in the long run:

a review of more than 160 studies found compelling evidence that

happier people with a more positive state of mind enjoy better

health and live longer lives, creating a stronger link even than

the link between obesity and longevity. Positive moods in the

laboratory was found to reduce stress-related hormones and help

the heart recover following exertion.

The moral of the studies: add more humor to work, create fun

rituals, and foster an inspiring culture at work that makes it

easy to maintain a great attitude and smile from the INSIDE out!


Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Rather than the usual wall of photos of your team members, do

what one of my clients does and create a photo wall of everyone’s

pets, children, grandparents or spouses to remind everyone of

what’s truly important in life. ================================================================

Deep Thought of the Week

“If you’re convinced there’s only one way to go, you’re lost.”


It’s a Wacky World

Okay, this may be an urban legend, but it’s a good story: A man

gets a $40.00 photo radar speeding ticket in the mail with a photo

of his speeding car. Man sends police a photo of forty dollars.

Police send back man a photo of a man being handcuffed. Man pays

fine. Moral: a picture truly is worth a thousand words. Or at

least forty bucks.


Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011

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