Old-school business people quickly jump to the conclusion that humour is dangerous in the workplace: it is either distracting or offensive. However, humour has been shown to facilitate trust, ease tension and establish a sense of group cohesion.
How does humour boost both personal productivity and group effectiveness and make people successful in the corporate world?
Funny Business in a Corporate World
There are three areas in the business world where humour can have a positive impact on someone’s career:
- By improving public speaking
- By connecting with colleagues
- By enhancing leadership capabilities
Humour is a great tool to use in various speaking techniques because it attracts the audience and makes the content even more memorable.
Laughter has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function.
The best business people use a bit of subtle humour in their speeches, meetings, or pitches. They’re known for making their communication even more compelling through storytelling and conveying challenging messages in a simpler and understandable manner.
Les étudiants de 1ère année de l'@ESILVparis, de l'@EMLVparis et de l'@IIMparis présentent leur projet devant un jury dans le cadre de la semaine transverse "savoir vendre ses idées" pic.twitter.com/dCOG4x7RSX
— Sebastien Tran (@sebtran) December 13, 2017
Connecting With Colleagues
A Robert Half International survey found that 91% of executives believe a sense of humour is important for career advancement. Basically, a respectful sense of humour increases social bonding: laughter induces the release of oxytocin and endorphins and stimulates positive emotions that strengthen bonds between coworkers.
In addition, humour when well placed, can make any employee, from executive to manager very persuasive during interviews, negotiation, and promotions. The trick is finding the right balance of being witty without crossing the line. In fact, it also builds liaisons between colleagues and increases likability:
- It invites other people will start listening more since humour captures attention.
- It relaxes team members, thus making them more receptive to a message.
This picture, for instance, speaks a thousand words. The good comradery is showing between EMLV’s international students. As they spend their year studying an intensive full-time programme, a light sense of humour decreases tension during team projects and breaks down walls between them and their instructors, especially given their different cultural and professional backgrounds.
Successful Corporate Leadership
Leaders who use humour as part of their management style are perceived as more effective. Their employees report greater satisfaction at work, and retention is improved on teams where humour has a place which ultimately results in an overall better team performance.
Nonetheless, things might get tricky because leaders should never become the office clown but without going the extreme opposite way of eliciting fear; after all, humane leaders are far more effective than ruthless ones. Which is why humour comes in as one of the many side tools that make managers and executives more approachable and influential.
Funny leaders are also known for being very detailed oriented. How? In order to be funny, one must pick up on certain details in a given situation and work on them. They have trained their brains to pick up on detail and are more detail-oriented than the average person, which comes in handy in the workplace.
This trait is often innate, but can also be developed at an early stage during school and between classmates, if the academic atmosphere allows it to blossom into a skill that can be greatly beneficial in the corporate world.
Learn more about EMLV business and its positively amicable atmosphere and read the Why choose EMLV.