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Leading with Humor

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Alison Beard examines a couple books that try to get at the root of what constitutes “humor.” From them, she attempts to distill how anyone, even you, can solicit a chuckle at the office. Her challenge in this endeavor is that these books—like most books about humor—focus on literal jokes, as opposed to being funny on a whim in a conversation. In most cases, a person is going to feel pretty awkward trying to shoehorn a joke joke into work conversation, and rightfully so. But Beard does still uncover a few broader tips for how to get funny:

  • Be authentic to who you are in the types of humor you try to use.
  • If you cannot be laugh-out-loud funny, then just aim to be clever. People appreciate clever.
  • “Good comedy is a conspiracy. Create an in-group.”
  • People who try and fail to be funny are less admirable than people who do not try.
  • Joke about the things that are creating stress, but intelligently. Do not make a bad situation worse.

You can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2014/05/leading-with-humor

About John Friscia

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John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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