This is probably my favourite life mantra. It’s so simple yet so powerfully significant and applicable to one’s personal and importantly,  (now more than ever) professional life. The ability to choose a happier disposition, finding the humour in even the most trying of circumstances and the classic “Every cloud has a…. “ Well, you get my drift.

The workplace needs laughter. According to research from rather serious institutions like Harvard and London Business School, every chuckle is filled with benefits.  Laughter relieves stress and boredom and offers not only well-being, but enhances creativity, engagement and productivity.

How often do you laugh at work? What makes you laugh?

In most workplaces certain kinds of humour work extremely well. Light teasing among longtime colleagues, self-deprecating stories shared between peers or the odd dirty joke from your charismatic boss. Whilst humour is very subjective and effective, it always must be done with extreme care – no one wants to offend or potentially insult a colleague with a seemingly harmless ‘blonde joke’.

So, how can leaders get their employees to laugh more?

IBM have comical names for their meeting rooms, an Australian Tech start up hosts taco-eating contests and in our workplace at Optimum Consulting the Friday joke telling ritual is loved and often with everyone in stitches. This year has been very tough and I encourage leaders and their employees to think about the power of laughter more than ever before. It should be part of your daily routine, how you communicate and view the world around you and even be a factor in how you recruit and hire.

Leading and living with humour really is a recipe for profound success and happiness, backed up by endless statistics. So, what will you do or say today to get a laugh?

Want to know more how effective leaders inspire their employees? Read How Effective Leaders Inspire Loyalty and Leadership Through A Crisis.

Michelle Murphy
Executive Consultant, Group Solutions

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