How A Managed Sense of Humour Helps

Humour is a lot of things.

It’s a reflection of our true self. It’s a business tool used to earn trust, to lighten the mood of tense negotiations, and to bring some level of fun or even humility to a difficult or vexing discussion.

Humour can help you clinch an important business deal or put a personal point on a telling story.

But humour can also be misinterpreted.

This suggests, particularly for executives, that one pause occasionally to consider the odds of generating a room full of laughter are also tinged with the risk of offending someone or having an important point lost in the confusion of a misguided joke or insensitive comment.

As much as a humorous observation can strike just the right social chord to cement a deal, a failed attempt at humor can dash an agreement.

The great thing about humour, especially self-deprecating humour, is that it can help us demonstrate to others that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. It shows that we can laugh – along with others – at the absurd, the unimagined and the folly.

It can keep us grounded and in touch with our own sense of fallibility, and therefore, toward real and heartfelt humility.

Grenville Kleiser (1868-1935), the North American author of inspirational books and guides to oratorical success and personal development who instructed public speaking students at Yale, is credited with the following observation:

Good humour is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.”

As we see our time and attention consumed by business demands, let’s resolve as global business executives to remember that humour in the right form and tone is indeed a business asset - one that can help us adjust our emotional sails to weather any storm.  

Copyright © TRANSEARCH International 2015


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