The Benefits of (Appropriate) Workplace Humor with Chet Harding
A significant issue with the corporate world is an over-focus on the bottom line. Often, business professionals are so centered on a goal or deadline that they reject any opportunities for lighthearted engagement in their work interactions.
As a result, they adopt stiff, unapproachable attitudes. This happens due to the misconception that humor can never coexist with professionalism or efficiency. In truth, there is nothing innately unprofessional or inefficient about humor. It is a pliable and dynamic tool that can be molded to fit a workplace setting and even improve overall productivity levels.
As a comedian, CEO and leadership consultant, Chet Harding has noted firsthand how humor can be used as an instrumental tool in the workplace. Beyond its mental health benefits, studies consistently show that those who use humor at work are more productive, less stressed, happier, and even more successful.
Humor Improves Leadership Skill
When it comes to leadership skills, you’re probably quick to think of abilities like professionalism, public speaking, communication, motivation, and trustworthiness. Humor is generally overlooked.
As a leadership consultant, Chet Harding has found that humor is one of the most underrated leadership skills; when applied appropriately, it is also one of the most powerful. Though not a traditional leadership skill, humor can be used to sharpen and develop other core corporate traits (such as public speaking, communication, motivation, and trustworthiness).
For example, a public speaker who engages his audience with humor will deliver effective and memorable presentations. If you use humor to teach someone a new skill or information, research shows they will be more inclined to retain the information long term. The use of humor also creates an approachable and genuine persona, causing a leader to appear trustworthy and likeable.
Humor Promotes Innovation and Creativity
In practicing as a comedian, Chet Harding has learned that creativity is like a muscle: it works best and becomes stronger when it’s exercised regularly. Welcoming humor into your workplace interactions allows for the practice of innovative thinking. It also places team members in a creative mindset. When team members fall into the habit of thinking creatively through the regular use of humor, they are more likely to solve problems quicker and develop ideas that further the company’s success.
It does this, in part, by forcing the brain to make new connections. On a scientific level, the process of making these connections has a real, physical impact on the brain: it leads to the release of serotonin, which improves brain functions and can lead to increased problem-solving capabilities.
Workplace Humor Improves Job Satisfaction
Recent data shows that 83% of Americans feel stressed at work and over 50% report feeling unhappy with their jobs. In a rigid professional world where corporate protocol leaves no room for a laugh, this dissatisfaction should come as no shock.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how skilled you are at your job. If you have no desire or drive to complete the necessary tasks, your workplace performance will consistently fall short. This is where humor comes into play. By increasing your mood and promoting engagement, it also boosts job satisfaction.
Chet Harding asserts that while education and training teaches you the skills you need to do a job, humor gives you the skills you need to enjoy your job. Individuals who employ humor will find it enriches their career, improve their leadership skills, and enjoy a more successful workplace.