That’s Not Funny!

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“Even with my intention being to fulfill needs for fun and play, however, other people may still be distressed by my humor.”
– Ike Lasater,
Words That Work In Business

Workplace Communication Tip — Week 34

That’s Not Funny!

Humor can be tricky in the workplace. While having fun at work is a value few would argue against, some statements, jokes or how either is expressed can result in more complaints than laughter, contributing to the creation of an uncomfortable or even a hostile workplace.

How do you address humor in the workplace? How do you hold the need for fun and play with the need for safety, comfort or trust at the same time?

Ask yourself – what is your primary intention behind the type of humor you use in the workplace? Is it for fun and play? Is it expressed out of nervousness and a desire for belonging or acceptance? Or something else?

My guess is that if I have any other intention in using humor,” says Ike Lasater, author ofWords That Work In Business, “such as an intention to instruct, or any sense of wanting to punish, criticize, or undermine anyone with my humor, it is more likely to trigger a reaction in somebody else.”
Another important question to ask yourself is “how is your humor received?” Do the recipients of your humor fully connect with your intention, or are they feeling something quite different?

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Mindful Practice for the Week

This week, think about your own or someone else’s humorous statements and connect with the intention behind them. What needs can you guess this humor is intended to meet?

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