Workplace blogs
Workplace blogs

The Hump Day Humor-Gram Issue #46, May 14, 2003

Please feel free to pass this along or a short
or sideways to anyone who has ever been anyone . . .

1. Scripting a Funny Response
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip
3. Introductory Putting Humor to Work Tape/CD Offer
4. Quote of the Week
5. It’s a Wacky, Wacky World
1. Scripting a Funny Response

I’ve written oh-so-many times here about the power of humor to
reduce stress levels in the workplace. Humor can help create
a lighter atmosphere where people feel more relaxed,
while accessing our sense of humor at a personal level
can help us cope with stress by distancing ourselves from the
stressor and helping us maintain control over our emotions
and our response to a stressor.

One study illustrates the power of a humorous narrative to help
people cope with stress. Test subjects had to view a video
featuring very gruesome industrial accidents and they had to
narrate the video in a serious fashion, then in a humorous

The heart rate, skin temperature and skin conductance of the
subjects were measured. When people narrated the video with a
humorous style, their physiological responses to the stress of
the film was significantly less.

The researcher, Michelle Newman, found that for the humorous
narrative to work it didn’t even have to be all that funny; what
was important was the test subjects simply tried to make it
humorous in their own style.

This study is yet another great reminder of the power of humor as
a reframing tool: by turning our own workplace stressors into a
“mini-sitcom” by narrating the event in a humorous fashion, we
may be able to cope much better.

Happy Hump Day. May the farce be with you!
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Create a customized calendar for your office or company.
Include the usual significant dates, but also add employees’
birthdays, company social dates, and significant company dates
such as the anniversary date of the founding of the company, or
anniversary dates of when people joined your team/company.
Include some interesting “this day in history” dates that relate
to your profession, and of course, add those wacky holidays to
make it fun (like Make Your Own Holiday Day, March 26th).

A calendar like this can not organize all your social activities
in a fun and memorable way, they also make a great gift for
or customers.
3. Introductory Tape/CD Offer

Now available: A double-set cassette tape or CD album by
Michael Kerr.

Program One: You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work
Program Two: Laughing for the Health of It!

The introductory price, good until May 31st,is:

$20.00 for the tape package,
$25.00 for the two-set audio CD package
plus $4.00 shipping and handling

Order today (or tomorrow, or, okay, the next day)
by calling our toll free line at 1-866-609-2640.
4. Quote of the Week

“Sometimes you just need to look reality in the
eye, and deny it.” Garrison Keillor
5. It’s a Wacky, Wacky World

The Ohio House of Representatives recently ratified the
Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Yes, they’ve finally
decided to officially embrace the end of slavery.

What next? Color televisions? Automobiles?
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2003

Back issues of the Hump Day Express can be
found at

International speaker Michael Kerr, “The Workplace Energizer” is
the author of five books, including When Do You Let the Animals
Out? and You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work. Michael
delivers keynote talks and workshops on humor in the workplace,
business creativity and public speaking skills.

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