If you take your business seriously, then it may be time to lighten up. Adding a dash of humour can be a seriously powerful and often underestimated tool.

When you’re wading knee-deep through a prolonged business drama or a nightmare project, it’s all too easy to get sucked into a humourless quagmire. Even the daily routine of business can stealthily drain your personality and turn you into a robot.

Some perspective, however, shows us that business, like life, treads a fine line between being dreadfully important and ludicrously futile. After all, most of us are not saving lives in what we do.

And even medical professionals that are saving lives use humour to manage stress and maintain the focus that enables them to perform under pressure. Plus therapeutic humour is used to improve patient outcomes throughout the health industry.

Whether you’re selling insurance or fixing fences, if you can maintain your sense of humour you’ll not only be happier, you’ll perform better.

I’m not talking about practical jokes, telling gags or a wearing a Donald Duck tie. It’s just about being yourself, taking your personality to work and relaxing.

Friendly banter in business can deliver real benefits. It can:

– Instill confidence
– Create rapport
– Put people at ease
– Drive creativity
– Show intelligence
– Reduce stress
– Indicate to the world that you are on top of things.

If your work sucks all the humour out of you all the time, then your work sucks. Laugh at your clients, laugh at your colleagues and most importantly laugh at yourself.

As the barman said when the horse walked into the bar, “Why the long face?”

Are you having a laugh? Let us know your thoughts on using humour in business.

Read 20 comments or add your own at Flying Solo

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