The ability to use humour in the workplace is a skill. Yes it is.
Individuals are often put off using humour in the workplace and reserve it for more relaxed circumstances with family and friends.
“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Why is this important to your employer?
Humour is not a job requirement. However, the ability to build a rapport with your colleagues, boss, clients and customers will be. Having a sense of humour and engaging in some mild and appropriate banter can help build and cement these relationships. Everyone is human and allowing your personality to show through can remind others of this.
Don’t forget, humour can also be used in interviews to allow your personality to shine through.
Why is this important to you too?
Used properly there are plenty of applications for humour in the workplace:
- building rapport and relationships with others
- conflict resolution or negotiation strategy
- putting people at ease
- harnessing the power of persuasion
- stress management / stress relief
- boosting public speaking and/or presentations
- boosting sales
- helping with team building
- creates a positive atmosphere
How can you show you have this skill?
The main way to show this skill is to use it. Use your sense of humour and laugh relax and enjoy other people’s jokes. You can then tell your own (bearing in mind context, timing, place and audience).
Skill Development Plan
It is hard to come up with a plan for this skill as it requires you to a) relax and b) understand humour (and the sense of humour of those around you). Learn by observing others, and try to achieve a natural humour. Try and take the time to get to know people better first so it is not forced and you can tailor your humour more effectively.