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Keeping Your Sense of Humor When Things Arent So Funny

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Title: Keeping Your Sense of Humor When Things Arent So Funny


1
Keeping Your Sense of Humor When Things Arent So
Funny
  • Michelle Mossey and Kristi Key
  • Associate Directors of Admissions
  • Bluegrass Community and Technical College

2
To Laugh or Not To Laugh?
  • From Jones, Sarah (Bluegrass) Sent Thursday,
    April 7, 2005 859 AMTo Smith, Joe
    (Bluegrass)Subject PowerPoint Presentation
  • I cant believe you didnt get my email! You
    sorry sack! Dont you ever do any work? Here is
    the attachment again. Let me know if you cannot
    open it.
  • (This is a copy of an email that was sent to the
    wrong Joe!)

3
Humor Where did it come from?
  • Positism is a term I coined that refers to
    looking at life through optimistic lenses, seeing
    the silver lining and squirting back when life
    gives you lemons. Humor comes from the root word
    umor, which means to be fluid or flexible. Both
    a positive attitude and the ability to be
    flexible are important in times of change.
  • - Sandra Jones Campbell, Workplace Humor is
    NOT an Oxymoron How to Create a Positive
    Workplace

4
Did you know
  • The average preschooler laughs or smiles 400
    times day, while that number drops to 15 times a
    day by the time people reach 35.
  • People smile only 35 percent as much as they
    think they do.
  • In a Robert Half International poll of 1000
    executives, 84 said that workers with a sense of
    humor do a better job.

5
Workplace Humor Is NOT an Oxymoron
  • Health Benefits of Humor
  • Laughter releases endorphins which are chemicals
    that are 10 times more powerful than the pain
    reliving drug morphine.
  • Every time you laugh you burn 3.5 calories.
  • Laughing increases oxygen intake, thereby
    replenishing and invigorating cells.
  • Relives tension, lifts your mood and boosts your
    immune system.

6
Workplace Humor Is NOT an Oxymoron
  • Humor benefits the workplace -
  • A little comic relief helps build camaraderie!

7
Is it me? Or was that not funny?
  • Using humor in the workplace does not mean
    becoming the Jay Leno of your company!
  • When your boss asks you if you have a sense of
    humor, shes not asking if you are a clown!

8
Sarcasm should I or shouldnt I?
  • It may be funny but it may leave people with a
    bitter or negative impression!
  • This is a hard one for many people to avoid, but
    if you can be funny without being overly
    dependent on negativity, your professional image
    will be much higher.

9
If I cant make fun of myself, who can I make fun
of?
  • When we make fun of ourselves, it demonstrates
    a healthy outlook, showing that we dont take
    ourselves too seriously. As a result we are seen
    as more approachable and easygoing.
  • - Craig Harrison, Coaching Tip Jest Practices
    Best Practices for Humor in the Workplace

10
If I cant make fun of myself, who can I make fun
of?
  • Self-depreciation is an excellent tool, but be
    careful to use it in moderation, especially when
    you are around authority figures or people who
    dont know you.
  • This could backfire if you are always cracking
    jokes people may not ever take you seriously.

11
A Sense of Humor in the Workplace
  • Realize when humor is appropriate and when it is
    not appropriate.
  • A manager sang a few bars of Laugh While the
    Whole World is Crying as he was laying off his
    employees. His attempt to lighten the mood fell
    flat and was perceived as cold and callous.

12
A Sense of Humor in the Workplace
  • Having a sense of humor has more to do with
    being able to see that there are funny situations
    all around us and feeling secure enough to laugh
    at them than it does with entertaining others.
  • -Randy Erickson, Humor in the Workplace
  • Sometimes people confuse the notion of a sense
    of humor with the ability to tell a joke. Were
    all humor participants.
  • -Dr. Stu Robertshaw, University of
    Wisconsin-La Crosse professor

13
So When Can I Use Humor in the Workplace?
  • Know your audience and make sure that your
    comment/joke wont be seen as offensive.
  • Do not laugh or joke at the expense of another
    person.
  • The most common mistake is that we make the
    assumption that everyone is like we are.
  • The truth is that other people may not have your
    sense of humor!
  • Pay attention to your coworkers mood. If used at
    the wrong time, it can backfire and offend,
    distract or upset someone.

14
WARNING!!!
  • The inability to laugh may be a sign of
    impending burnout. When it is no longer possible
    to find humor in anything, it may be that the
    employee is in the throes of burnout.
  • - Mary Rau-Foster, Humor and Fun in the
    Workplace

15
Some Helpful Humor Guidelines
  • Humor breaks up boredom and fatigue.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Georgetown,
    KY has pool tables and ping pong tables set up on
    the manufacturing floor.
  • Humor fulfills human social needs.
  • Laughter indicates cooperation, anger typifies
    opposition. If you can laugh with people, you
    can work with them.

16
Some Helpful Humor Guidelines
  • Humor increases creativity and willingness to
    help.
  • Happy employees can improve customer/student
    satisfaction because we like doing business with
    those who have a high likeability factor.
  • Humor fulfills the need for mastery or control.
  • Managers or supervisors can be also be seen as
    team players, who can relax and enjoy life and
    others as well.

17
Some Helpful Humor Guidelines
  • Humor improves communication.
  • Advertisers are aware of the values of humor and
    spend a lot of money each year to make funny
    commercials for radio and television.
  • Humor breaks up conflict and tension.
  • Can effectively reduce the level and intensity of
    conflict among employees.

18
What about when things arent so funny?
  • Does this sound familiar?
  • What do you do then?

19
What about when things arent so funny?
  • How does humor fit into these situations?
  • How can we keep our spirits up at times when we
    want to scream?
  • Or maybe the real question is can we really keep
    our sense of humor in times like these?

20
Tips For Keeping It Funny
  • Keep a childhood toy or photo of you or your
    children as a reminder to keep the child in you
    at work.
  • Keep a stress ball in your desk this is
    especially handy when youre on long phones
    calls.
  • Use a daily joke or positive calendar instead of
    a plain one and READ IT!

21
Tips For Keeping It Funny
  • Have a joy jar on your desk and fill it with
    positive, success-oriented saying, appropriate
    jokes and candy.
  • Use a nerf bat and ball to work out frustrations.
  • Name the office equipment and talk to it.
  • Have small jars of bubbles in your office and
    allow everyone to blow bubbles.

22
But seriously
  • Vent your frustrations with someone whom you
    trust.
  • Try not to take things personally. Somebody may
    just be having a bad day.
  • Get out of your office take a short walk, grab
    a snack, step away for a break to relax and
    remember that this too shall pass!

23
The Bottom Line on Humor
  • We dont need less humor at work we just need
    to make sure its the kind of humor that makes
    hard tasks easier, collaborations fun and
    certainly make workdays go faster. Use humor
    more effectively, and the world still laughs with
    you.
  • - Dr. Joni Johnston, Lessons From the Humor
    Police How to evaluate workplace humor

24
References
  • Campbell, Sandra Jones (2000), Workplace Humor is
    NOT an Oxymoron or How to Create a Positive
    Workplace
  • Erickson, Randy (1995), Humor in the Workplace
  • Gliner, Art (2001), Humor in the Workplace 2001
  • Harrison, Craig (Nov. 2006), Coaching Tip Jest
    Practices Best Practices for Humor in the
    Workplace
  • Johnston, Dr. Joni (2000), Lessons From the Humor
    Police How to evaluate workplace humor
  • Rau-Foster, Mary (June/July 2000), Humor and Fun
    in the Workplace
  • Toupin, Edward B. (1999), A Sense of Humor in the
    Workplace Is It me? Or, was that not funny?
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