Humor at Work: Laughing at Yourself Makes for Serious Science

Humor researchers from the University of California did a study

recently to try and gauge how well people laugh at themselves.

Being able to laugh at yourself, after all, is thought to be

one of the core components of having a great sense of humor,

and a huge survival skill for anyone who works as a politician,

or say, a school teacher. And, I might add, a must for anyone

in a leadership position.

The study, which partially relied on participants reactions

to funny, distorted photos of themselves, simply showed that

people’s self assessment, as well as their friend’s assessment

of their ability to laugh at themselves proved to be fairly

accurate. In other words, if you think you have a good ability

to laugh at yourself, then you probably do. So, a few simple

questions for you to ponder: Do you think you have a good ability

to laugh at yourself? What would help you laugh at yourself more

and not take yourself overly seriously? What would the benefits

be of being able to laugh at yourself? Remember, if you laugh at yourself,

you take away anyone’s ability to laugh at you (except

for maybe your spouse or kids, where all bets are off!)

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Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Perfect for summer: Hold a “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” contest.

(First things first, if you haven’t watched Ferris Bueller’s Day

Off, watch it! Or watch it again! Or turn it into a teambuilding

event and watch it as a team.) Then hold a contest with your

team for people to submit their ideal “Ferris Bueller’s Day

Off” – in other words, what would they do with a totally free

day of hooky in the summer? Share the responses so people

get to know each other in a fun way, then put everyone’s entry

into a draw to win a day off from work. You can even turn it

into a summer tradition each year.

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Quote of the Week

“When there are two alternatives, always pick the third.” Anon.

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It’s a Wacky World

The Washington Post held its annual “Style Invitational.” One

of their challenges is for people to come up with alternative

definitions of common terms. Here are a few of my favorites:

– Balderdash: a rapidly receding hairline

– Abdicate: to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach

– Negligent: absent-mindedly answering the door when wearing

only a nightgown

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Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011 www.humoratwork.com

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