Part 1 of this post was published previously. Part 2 begins half way down this post and lists five ways to get people to laugh more where you work.

Great leaders know how to laugh. In our office, we appreciate at least one good belly laugh per day. Not only does it make life more fun, but there are health and financial benefits as well. Here are 5 simple reasons to laugh a little more in your workplace:

  1. Laughter reduces sick days. Laughter and a sense of humor strengthen the immune system, increase energy, reduce pain, and are an effective antidote for stress. A University of Maryland study found that a sense of humor can prevent heart disease and other serious sicknesses.
  2. Laughter makes people happy. Laughter and a sense of humor are infectious. Think about how many times you start laughing just because another person has a great laugh. Laughter tends to bond people and refresh the mind.
  3. Humor builds trust. Laughter is humanizing and can break down barriers and build trust in relationships. It makes it easier to work together and get projects done efficiently. Additionally, studies suggest that having a sense of humor is also viewed as a sign of intelligence.
  4. Laughter eases contention and stress. Applied at the right time, laughter and a good sense of humor can change the atmosphere of a tense situation to one that is more inviting and relaxed. One of the extraordinary things about humor is that it can completely change the tone of a meeting or situation so the participants can more easily put things into perspective and get on to a positive solution.
  5. Humor increases productivity. Laughter fosters an environment of learning, creativity, brainstorming, and thinking outside the box. If people are having fun, they’re going to work harder, stay longer, maintain their composure in a crisis, and take better care of the organization.

 [Part 2] Five Tips For Getting People To Laugh Where You Work

Conan O'Brien

Conan O’Brien

1. Laugh at your quirks. While you should never laugh at other people, you should laugh at yourself occasionally. People who can poke fun at their own foibles with confidence often generate healthy laughter and build strong relationships with co-workers and those around them. When you laugh about your shortcomings, do so with a large smile and a twinkle in your eye, so people will understand that you’re not complaining.

Example: “Some people are saying that the reason Michael Phelps wasn’t doing so well for a while was because he let himself get too out of shape. I just have to say that I have been watching the Olympics, and if that guy is out of shape, I have been dead for five years.” Conan O’Brien

Making planning fun

Making planning fun

2. Tell a joke. We worked with a man who would frequently stop people in the hall as if he had serious news, and then he would nonchalantly tell an unexpected and funny joke. He was well loved and respected. Several other great leaders we work with always start potentially stressful meetings with a joke to get everyone laughing. Doing so often eases tension and makes the meetings more productive.

Here are two websites with examples of jokes you could use:

www.tensionnot.com

www.jokesclean.com

Teachers sharing laughs

Teachers sharing laughs

3. Share your stories. When you notice or experience something funny, share it with others so they can laugh with you as well.

Example: If a school teacher hears a student share something comical during Show and Tell time, she can share it with her co-workers during a break.

 

Laughing with co-workers

Laughing with co-workers

4. Laugh with others. People enjoy watching other people laugh and being able to laugh with them. Look for opportunities to laugh with those around you as they share their stories or do something funny. In short, is someone else laughs, try to find a way to laugh with them.

 

5. Share funny videos. Short video clips are one of our favorite ways to get big smiles. In our corporate training events, we share a “fun time” video every hour to get people laughing and engaged. Go ahead and watch this video from Pepsi Max to see how swiftly laughter can change the mood of a room and get you smiling: