When was the last time you laughed out loud at work? I'm not talking about using "LOL" on social media posts. I mean a deep laugh in the office or at a meeting?
I'll bet you can't remember. We take ourselves far too seriously and seem to confuse solemnity as acting appropriately at work. Having fun seems to be inappropriate behavior in many established corporate environments.
"He who laughs most, learns best." - John Cleese
Laughter opens the mind and frees the creative juices. It makes us more receptive to new ideas. Who can say "no" after they have just shared a giggle with someone? You are more likely to learn and try new things when you are relaxed.
Your Boss Should Make You Laugh
One of the best bosses I ever worked with encouraged pranks. Our team "pranked" everyone in the group including the boss. The best pranks were "got you" and were unexpected. We vied with each other to out do the other team members so we became really creative.
We couldn't wait to see the results of our pranks and we laughed and laughed knowing full well that that person was already planning their revenge.
Humor Builds Trust
As a result our team worked and played hard. We were encouraged to be creative and to try new things because of our ability to laugh as a team. We learned, we built a strong and creative team ,and we created a successful and respected department.
Laughter Builds Relationships
I remember those good times as a model of how a team can push the boundaries, find new ways of doing things and have fun. These people are still my friends today and are the people I would go to for advice. Laughter builds relationships.
Pay It Forward
It takes self confidence as a manager to be able to share and encourage laughter with your team. Take the time and you will reap the rewards. Teach your team the value of laughter at work and it will be one of the most valuable lessons you can give them.
I would love to hear your stories about the power of laughter. Share them in the comments section below this blog post!