Laughter keeps you healthy, reduces stress, improves the climate, connects people, increases empathy and, and, and…a fantastic tool for executives. Make your employees laugh and you have a positive corporate culture! But be careful: there are two types of humor, the affiliative and the aggressive. The latter leads to #stress, #conflict and negative climate. So you should know the difference.
Affiliative or aggressive humor
Affiliative humor stands for cheerful #serenity and lightness. This humor is authentic, highly humane and cheerful, even an almost childlike amusement. For example, it is fun kidding each other with a kind attitude or to reformulate your own weaknesses into jokes. Origin is a strong awareness and attentiveness for oneself and others. Because as soon as sarcasm, cynicism, irony or mockery interfere, the basic attitude is anything but human and life-friendly. And that is the challenge for managers – or the opportunity.
Your humor culture
How do you, your employees and your whole company deal with humor? Do you tend to joke at the expense of colleagues or customers who are not present? Do you make sarcastic remarks about other departments? Do you use black humor to deal with negative situations? Then you are on the wrong path. Because with this kind of humor you create more bad mood, displeasure and bullying feelings. Actually, you actively reduce performance. Degrading jokes, dumb slogans and mockery should be 100% denied! And do not believe each alleged laughter over such jokes. Embarrassingly touched colleagues laugh over the situation and feel bad at the same time. We call this kind of humor aggressive humor.
Attention: Especially all candidates who have grown up in sales or work in certain industries, such as retail, are particularly challenged to stimulate a humor change.
When we laugh, we use 43 facial muscles. Children laugh up to 400 times a day, adults about 15 times. This is where the first challenge begins. As a rule, you laugh far too little to use the power of humor. Look at your day today…have you already laughed full of joy? Do you smile as you talk to co-workers, write e-mails, moderate a meeting?
„Of course not! Where would we get there? It’s not a fun event, it’s work,“ a #CEO in the team workshop wonders. One of his team leaders gives him courageous feedback: „Well, after our meetings with you I am usually so stressed that I fool around with my colleagues over coffee for half an hour. It’s like a counterweight to the lead-heavy communication in the Jour fixe.“ Laughter is a tremendous stress reliever and opens the mind to creativity and innovation.
Do you remember when you were a child? When you literally took the SMS abbreviation „rotfl“ = „roll on the floor laughing“? Remember the laughing cramps at school, depreciated by over-serious teachers? The laughing fits in the most impossible moments, criticized and stopped by adults? The seriousness drill in your education, in your studies, in your job? Do you know these sayings: „Now the seriousness of life begins“, „Don’t take that lightly“, „You’ll lose the laughter“, „Is that supposed to be a joke?“ Laughter was almost forbidden to us. Anyone who wants to achieve something must take things seriously, remain objective, suppress emotions. He who laughs seems like a soft sock, childish or even incompetent. And when people giggle in a meeting, the boss sarcastically asks: „Um…may I ask what’s so funny? Maybe we can all laugh along?“
Being laughed at is a bad thing in our culture. An example: When crossing a road you get stuck on the curb and fall down. What do you do? You look around to see if anyone has seen it? Depending on the psychological structure, you quickly get off the field, laugh it off or scold the curb. If someone were to stand next to you and laugh, it would be impertinence. Different in Asia. There everyone laughs when you fall, so that you do NOT feel embarrassed.
Laughing face = motivation
„Laughter is the best medicine,“ the vernacular says and so it is. Laughter supports the healing of diseases enormously. A powerful instrument for us emotional beings. Make your fellow human beings laugh and never prevent outbursts of real, light humor. On the contrary, let it happen, encourage it. E.g. in meetings. Let your colleagues giggle. Wait relaxed. If the laughter is real, it will automatically infect the whole #team via the #mirror hormones. You can’t get any better than this free animation. After that all are more relaxed, connected and open to your ideas. In the end, everyone says the meeting was great. Why do you prefer to bring fun gaining speakers to your events? To inspire the staff, right? You can do the same yourself if you find access to your real humor and allow yourself to smile even when you talk about serious things.
The permission to be childish
Bring back the childlike joy. If your mind says „Such nonsense…“ or you don’t even know how to do it anymore, spend some time with small children in your environment and get involved in silly things. Wonderful, I tell you. It’s like a holiday. See comedies, surround yourself with humorous people, laugh with your whole body. You stay healthy, support the „we“ feeling and take care of your and the #resiliency of your employees.
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