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Defusing Workplace Conflict With Humor

Filed under: Humor in the Workplace Blog - 11 Feb 2015

In Canadian funnyman Martin Short’s biography, I Must Say, Short describes how his wife would ask to speak to his alter ego character Ed Grimley as a way to defuse the tension when they argued. Ed’s sweet goofiness and honesty almost always helped lower the temperature during a heated discussion.

A little disruptive humor has been shown to lower the stress levels even in very serious situations. During the Cuban missile crisis, President John F. Kennedy often insisted that meeting participants start meetings or take a break during tense meetings to tell a joke as a way of lowering everyone’s stress.

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