Guest post by customer service expert, author, and Hall of Fame speaker By Jeff Mowatt
I think my former neighbor, Judge Peter Leveque had the right attitude about humor at work. Though he passed a few years ago, he once told me that as family court judge, at Easter time every year he would don a bunny outfit and hop into the staff’s offices delivering chocolate eggs. You can imagine the staff’s belly-laughs echoing in chambers at seeing Judge Peter transformed into Peter Rabbit. And they were devoted to him. As a leader trying to strengthen staff loyalty and enhance team spirit, do you use self-effacing humor? It is a risk requiring humility, security, and courage. Those are strong character traits. Maybe that’s why, ironically, at an almost subconscious level, we have more respect for those people who take themselves less seriously.
Isn’t it a truism, after all, that the more seriously a person takes themselves, the less seriously we all tend to take that person? Taking yourself lightly and laughing at yourself helps keep you real and helps you come across as more vulnerable and authentic – which is one reason why surveys show a positive correlation between trust and self-deprecating humor: People tend to trust people more, especially leaders, when they laugh at themselves and demonstrate a healthy sense of humor.
It’s not about taking your work or your employees lightly, in fact, just the opposite – it’s about demonstrating that you care enough about your employees, your customers, and your business to bring a sense of humanity, balance and perspective to your workplace.
And sometimes, you just have to hop to it!
*Michael Kerr will be joining Jeff Mowatt along with two other fabulous speakers and a panel of industry experts for the Customer Service Leadership Summit in Calgary on November 15, 2017. To reserve a table for your team head on over to: Customer Service Leadership Summit.
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