CareerPersonal Growth

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

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