Humour is a communication skill. It is invaluable for those who teach and motivate others about health and safety. When we add humour to our conversations, we become more confident, more interesting and more resourceful. We can use puns, teasing, cartoons and telling jokes to build interest in what we are saying. When we listen to funny people and when we watch sitcoms, we learn that humour often involves knowing what others expect to hear and giving it a twist. Adding some humour throughout the day reminds all of us not to get too stressed.
Using humour, we can prevent or resolve conflict. With humour, we can see a situation less emotionally and more realistically. However, when someone is very upset, humour is best avoided and listening helpfully is the better choice.
Being funny is natural. Very young children have already learned that exaggerating and understating is funny. Even quiet and shy people can have unique and delightful senses of humour. To improve one's ability to be funny simply takes being motivated and observing others, watching how they hook the listeners, how they use their voice tone, how they use pauses and what topics they choose. Humorous topics are often about people's common weaknesses. We make fun to show that we all have self-doubts, we all make mistakes, and we all do better when we help each other on the journey.
Here are some fun things to say to mange a stressful situation.
- You are right.
- Is it my turn to win?
- Is it too late to apologize?
- You are younger, you know best.
- At times like this, my uncle used to say...
Organizing fun activities throughout the year keeps us feeling positive and connected as a team. Activities enhance our communicating well with humour. Familiar activities include having a barbeque, a charity fundraising event, or a Halloween party. A successful event can involve everyone by including making costumes, a banner and funny hats.
Here are some fun things to try:
- Have a pot luck lunch.
- Have a dress up or dress down Friday.
- Bring in baby pictures, and guess the employees name.
- Play beach volleyball.
- Dance naked in front of your pets.
- Get a tattoo.
- Eat dessert first.
- Make a home-made birthday card.
- Pop popcorn with the lid off.
Humour is the spice of life. It invites improved morale, it decreases pain, it improves communication and increases wellbeing. When individuals feel well they are more centered, more able to concentrate and less likely to have an accident.
This article was contributed by Leslie Rose, who has been leading humour seminars and presenting after-dinner talks at conferences for over 25 years.
He recently presented at the ESAO Conference on Humour and on Managing Stress.