I’ve read a lot about laughter and humour in the workplace over the last week.
I’ve come to realise that workplace humour comes in two sorts: the appropriate and the inappropriate. In years gone by, it was mainly the latter on my agenda but these days, it’s definitely the former.
In the heady days when public sector organisations had enough money and staff, and weren’t faced with killer diseases, workplace laughter pretty much took care of itself. As a manager you only had to step in if people were taking the joke too far. Jokes that were lewd and crude were chopped off at the knees by my scythe like gaze and stern eyebrow lift.
Today, managers are actively encouraging laughter and humour. Positive psychology and happiness in the workplace is even more important when money is less, people are fewer, stress is greater and we’re socially distanced.
There’s nothing more engaging than the person in the meeting who can deliver their point with flair and whit. It helps to diffuse tension – meetings with a few laughs are always better than the deathly-silent.
Reflect on who engages you. Which meeting do you like to attend/avoid? Work out the laughter-link and nurture it! Colleagues and service users all benefit from happy people!