The Haha Moment
·       Laughing is one of our first skills, and not limited to just people…animals have a funny bone too.

·       Three “types” of humor

  •   Superiority

               laughing AT you, not with you.  The cruel side of humor.

  • Incongruity

               one of these things is NOT like the others.  Is norm based, and requires a common base.

  •   Relief

                release of energy, often at inappropriate times/situations.

·       Why use it… idea generation, energy creation, teamwork, positive work outcomes.

Idea Generation

§  Humor ties two ideas together

§  Challenges  status quo and pushes boundaries

§  Helps to encourage deferring judgment

§  Moves you up thinking level

§  Improves productivity

Energy level

§  Start with humor, fun is linked with problem SOLVING (whining is linked with problem creating)

§  Pushes up nrg level, more nrg = more creative nrg!

§  Kills yawns.

Team work

§  Makes for a more open (defer) and challenging (better) environment

§  Makes for a more smoothly run office

§  Lowers absenteeism

§  Improves job satisfaction ratings

§  Is attributed to higher productivity and better retention rates

§  Better customer service….happy people deal with unhappy people better.

§  Works to help create positive emotional  bonds

§  Is a motivator!

Positive attributes….

§  Makes it easier when dealing with painful/uncomfortable topics (telling someone they suck)

§  Helps resolve tensions

§  Relieves tension

§  Creates unity and cohesion

·       Rules for the tools

o  Be appropriate

o  Be genuine

o  Laugh AT yourself, WITH others

o  Be witty/smart

o  Mind your tone and timing

o  Don’t re-invent the wheel

·       Debrief questions

o  What did I learn?

o  What did I like/gain from this learning experience? Why?

o  What did not go so well? Why?

o  What lessons can I build on from this experience to bring to my organization/work/life ?

o  How can I build on both the negative and positive aspects of this experience?

·       Debrief tips

o  Keep a record of your debriefing.  Know what you’ve learned, and what should be changed.

o  Keep questions open-ended, leave room for THEIR answers, their learning.

o  Activities should have meaning; we are too busy for fluff.

·         The Experts:



O      Having a laugh. (2008). Retrieved May 2011, from EBSCOhost:

O      Crawford, C. (1994). Theory and implications regarding the utilization of strategic humor by leaders. The Journal of Leadership Studies, 53-68.

O      Goodman, J. (1983). How to get more smileage out of your life: making sense of humor, then serving it. In P. McGhee, & J. Goldstein, Handbook of Humor Research (pp. 1-21). New York: Springer-Verlag.

O      Haig, R. A. (1988). The Anatomy of Humor: Biopsychosocial and Therapeutic Perspectives. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas.

O      Holmes, J., & Marra, M. (2006). Humor and leadership style. International Journal of Humor Research, 119-138.

O      Lang, J. C., & Lee, C. H. (2010). Workplace humor and organizational creativity. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 46-60.

O      Martineau, W. H. (1972). A model of the social functions of humor. In J. P. Goldstein, The psychology of humor (pp. 101-125). New York: Academic Press.

O      Pankseppa, Jaak & Burgdorf, Jeff ‘‘Laughing’’ rats and the evolutionary antecedents of human joy? Physiology & Behavior 79 (2003) 533– 547

O      Plester, B. (2009). Healthy humour: using humour to cope at work. Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 89-102.

O      Roach, D., Tronboy, L., & Cochran, L. (2006). The effects of humor and goal setting on individual brainstorming performance. The Journal of American Academy of Business, 31-36.

O      Romero, E., & Cruthirds, K. (2006). The use of humor in the workplace. Academy of Management Perspectives, 58-69.