Archive for April, 2012

How Important is humor in business?

in this current financial climate there’s a danger that we can lose our sense of humor (spelt Humour in UK). We have all becoming increasingly entertained by the incompetence of the Government when they all suddenly pretend that their favorite food is Cornish pasties. But how important is humor in business?

Business Humor?
I’m not talking about playing jokes or being silly at work. I mean the humor that attracts people to it and relieves pressure and stress of day to day work. That management encourages humor and is even prepared to initiate it rather than take itself too seriously. 

Let me give you some examples:
Given the choice of two networking meetings which would look most attractive to join?
A group talking seriously with each other or another group that’s obviously having a good laugh and being entertained as in the picture above.

At work do you mix with the individual who’s always smiling or the person with a depressive nature who when he smells flowers looks around for a funeral.

Humor and success

In my experience I often note that the person with appropriate business humour skills, as well as qualifications and experience, is the individual that’s more easily promoted.
The problem with so many people at work is that they have great senses of humour, but manage to hide it well.

What are your experiences of humor and success and your favorite stories?

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“That’s ruined MY day”

Most of my time is spent working with team managers to make their teams more efficient and productive. It’s work that gives me huge satisfaction and enjoyment. The process generally starts with a meeting where the team leader explains the problem/s. Then I’m asked what training, changes and so on I can deliver to “change the team around”.

Someone else’s fault
I comes as a huge surprise that often I’ll say “I’m not sure I can do anything to help them but I can do something to help you”. My reasoning is that it’s not unusual for team leaders to take poor team performance and people problems as someone else’s fault but with the results affecting them personally.

For example:Take the team leader who heard last week that a key member of staff was leaving, “That’s ruined my day, I’m getting a headache and going to take the rest of the day off!”
the team leader who’s heard that the team failed to meet target. “All the training and time I’ve given them and they do this to me!”

A lesson to be learned
One of the first lessons that team leaders need to understand is that the team hasn’t underperformed nor decided to leave to intentionally upset the leader. However, having said that the phrase “people don’t leave the company, they leave the boss” is true and underperformed teams is often due to poor resource being available.

That’s why I enjoy mentoring team leaders. 

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