Humor + Workplace = Strong Team

Work is, well work…for most of us it is not all fun and games. Even people who do “fun”for a living have stress, anxiety and conflict at work. Can you imagine how stressful it is to do a standup comedy routine or be a party clown? Makes accounting look like child’s play!

I don’t advocate taking the “work” out of your office (you would most probably go out of business) but rather finding ways to put some fun into every day. How you and your team define fun is the first step. Here are a few suggestions that may help:

•  Create an atmosphere where camaraderie can flourish. Genuine kindness and friendliness most often set the tone for a more relaxed office attitude. Friends joke around with each other, work colleagues…not so much.

•  Encourage everyone to share funny things: cartoons, antidotes, silly things clients or kids have said. One CEO I know starts every meeting with a funny story. His staff feels absolutely free to cheer or jeer, and even pass on stories for him to share. All tasteful and G rated, he never wants to alienate anyone with possibly offensive material.

•  Silliness can be appropriate. Sometimes you just gotta be goofy!

Some of the funniest people I know in accounting (that is NOT an oxymoron) are also some of the savviest managers I know. They all understand that creating great teams means fostering trust, respect, support, communication –some of the same skills comedians use!

One of my workshops, Building Stronger Teams by Using Improvisational Comedy, is all about creating strong teams through humor and improvisation. It isn’t rock science but it does take commitment and a bit of work. And a commitment to letting personality and humor into your office.

My friend and colleague, Judy Carter, wrote about the 5 Steps to Bring Humor Back to the Workplace. She shares comedy tips that can help every office or work setting. Check out her article for more ideas. Judy is a great source of inspiration and has been a great coach in helping me develop my business –thanks, Judy!