Food for Thought Friday: Humor in the Workplace

monkey watchby Kristie Burk

Last summer, a colleague moved into the office directly across from mine. In addition to bringing his technical and teaching expertise, Jon Blow brought something else to Central – a great sense of humor.  His humor is quick, witty, and contagious. Inevitability, a good laugh always makes us feel a little better.

In this picture, you can see a watch that I recently purchased for myself for $14.  I know that it may look a little silly to see me in a business suit and a monkey watch, but it serves a purpose.  First, I love monkeys, so every time I look at my watch, it makes me smile. Second, the watch is a reminder not to take myself so seriously.

We know that laughter and a good sense of humor is probably good for our health. But did you know that laughter may also be important in the workplace?  One study shows that after a strong work ethic, a good sense of humor is the most desirable trait in a leader.. In a great article in Forbes called “10 Reasons Why Humor Is A Key To Success At Work,” author Jacquelyn Smith suggests that humor can build trust, boost morale, and increase productivity.

Humor is also important for educators. At the recent PA Data Summit where DASD educators were presenting, I noticed something interesting.  When it was Ryan Farrell’s turn to speak, he had the audience laughing with his Yoda analogies. But more importantly, I also saw that people were paying closer attention to what he was saying after they laughed. This is supported by a point Smith makes in her article that “people who take themselves overly seriously are often, ironically, taken less seriously by the people around them.”

Some great food for thought this Friday.  Have a good laugh this weekend!

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