We have come to a place in business decorum and overt political correctness, that we aren't even sure if it is okay to use humor at work. However, is it possible that people who incorporate humor into their professional lives will actually be more successful than those who do not? The answer: a resounding YES! And here are four reasons why you should employ humor at work.
When you are joking with someone, you are connecting at a deeper level. You move past the superficial interaction. Furthermore, if the person laughs at what you have said; they have allowed themselves to be vulnerable. You've gained trust. Those who learn to create these deeper level relationships tend to have opportunities granted to them that others do not, simply because they're more approachable, likable, and friendly.
Appropriate and spontaneous humor indicates a high-level of intelligence. A coworker who can interject a quick, witty remark not only shows their ability to lighten the mood. It proves that they can think on their feet. This is just the type of personality trait many employers look for when searching for someone to represent their company in the public eye.
People say it all the time, "I just want a guy/girl who makes me laugh." The same is true in professional relationships. The employee who can outperform at his or her job but still has the ability to make you laugh tends to provide a safety blanket in otherwise stressful situations.
We are learning now, that more important in the workplace than IQ, is Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to use empathy, awareness, and restraint. These individuals have the capacity to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and with much thoughtfulness. They often use humor to make light of one's flaws in uncomfortable or awkward situations ease tensions, even at their expense. This also shows great compassion and selflessness.
So how do you learn to loosen up and start incorporating some humor into your work day? Start by paying attention to people who you already think are funny and try to figure out why they make you laugh. If a joke bombs, just brush the dust off and give it another shot.
Do you think joking around in the business setting a risky thing to do? Join the conversation.