Am I being funny now?

“I’ve never been killed by hitmen, so I don’t know what it’s like in the moments just before you’re killed by hitmen, but I bet it’s not unlike when you’re on the subway and you realize a mariachi band is about to start playing.”

What does that joke from John Mulaney have to do with leadership and teams? It turns out that how much a team laughs together is a good indicator of the health of a team and the perception of the leader. Laughter:

1. Accelerates building trust
2. Sparks creativity (Einstein once said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”)
3. Creates a psychologically safe environment
4. Helps cope with stress (the mere anticipation of laughter has been found to reduce the stress hormone by 39%)
5. Makes leaders appear more competent, intelligent and memorable

So what happens if you aren’t as funny as I am? First, don’t beat yourself up, not everyone can paint like Michelangelo. Remember, even attempting to be funny raises people’s opinion of you. Second, read this wonderful book that breaks down how to be funny in the workplace, from adding in some humor to your LinkedIn profile to not using “Regards,” which is most commonly used by coroner’s to sign autopsy reports, as your email sign off:

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