Uncategorized April 16, 2012

Workplace humour could improve leadership skills, claims expert


The use of humour in the workplace can be an important asset for any leader looking to inspire, motivate and engage with their team.

That's the opinion of Mike Myatt, a contributor to Forbes, who suggests that the "timely and appropriate use" of humour is an ace in the hole for any leader.

However, the inappropriate use of humour can be potentially damaging to a workforce, therefore it's important to distinguish a line which should not be crossed. It should be used to appropriately ease a burden or relieve tension rather than exert humiliation or intimidation, he said.

"Put simply, to use humour to mock, belittle, undermine, or attack isn't good humour, and it's certainly not good leadership. Remember - many a silent tear has been hidden behind a public smile," explained Myatt.

Furthermore, a person of authority - such as a CEO - can use humour to help acclimatise the team to a new situation; making them feel comfortable rather than awkward. Humour should be used to make people laugh, rather than put them down.

"Smart leaders have long recognised the best punchline - themselves," he added. "Use the levity surrounding your experiences, mistakes, failures, challenges, etc., to turn teachable moments into unforgettable lessons."

Myatt's comments follow a survey cited by The Province, which suggests that 79 per cent of executives said an employee's sense of humour was integral when it comes to fitting in with company culture.

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