Do you have a Sense of Humor?

We need to lighten up every once in a while and this is the responsibility of today’s leaders.
We need to lighten up every once in a while and this is the responsibility of today’s leaders.
We need to lighten up every once in a while and this is the responsibility of today’s leaders.

A bear walks into a bar and sits at the counter. Bar tender asks him what he will have – to which he replies, ”I think I will have a…… ….. …….. . . . .. ……………. beer.” The bar tender fetches the beer and turns to the bear and says “Hey, I don’t mind serving a bear a beer but when you ordered, what’s with the big pause?” The bear replied “I don’t know, I guess I was born with them”.


A sense of humor in the workplace is important.

laugh-2We all want to enjoy our work and our workplace. We want to look forward to heading out to work every day. To make this a reality many things need to happen. Challenge, accomplishment, camaraderie, comfort and more. But it also has to be fun. As a leader, we need to create an environment that has some humor in it – that is fun. Every day. If you are managing a project team, a group of BAs or a division of a large organization this is for you. You need to find a way to lighten up the atmosphere so you hear that, among other things, this is a fun place to be. It can’t just be “we had fun sometime last month’.


A sense of humor is important when things are NOT going well.


We are all so busy, so stressed, so nervous about our future and in many cases, very overworked. We need to lighten up every once in a while and this is the responsibility of today’s leaders – you. Great leaders will make an effort to carry a smile wherever they go and to add levity to every day.


I have worked in some pretty stressful environments. Business is down and the future is not looking good. How did leadership carry this? Not well. There was very little that was fun in those offices. No smiles, no jokes, no fun. This is when a sense of humor is most important. Regardless of how bad things are going, work still has to be fun. Otherwise we run the risk of losing really good people and when it all turns around in the future, your best people are gone. Ouch.


A sense of humor is important when we make mistakes.


We all make mistakes., April 2014, about the top attributes of leaders says “Encourage your team to laugh at the mistakes instead of crying.” Well said. This kind of reaction makes working for an organization worth coming to everyday. We are all in this together and no one is perfect. So lighten up. Let’s fix it, learn from it and not lose a good person because of it.


A sense of humor is important when things change. We all know people who do not handle change well. I definitely have a few in my life. When change happens and we have to go into crisis mode we need a sense of humor. This makes the solutions easier to grasp and easier to execute.


And finally, a sense of humor could just get you the next job. A friend recently sent me a link to an article from Workopolis entitled: Infographic: Why the other person got the job, and you didn’t.

“A Workopolis survey of over 300 hiring managers asked the question, “If it comes down to two job candidates with equal skills and work experience, what is the factor that will move you to hire one over the other?” The answer might surprise you. It certainly surprised us. Nearly half of respondents (45.37%) said they would choose the more enthusiastic candidate. This was followed in a distant second place by fit with the company culture, then that was followed in third place by sense of humor. “


So to all of you leaders out there, I say stop being so serious every hour of everyday. Come on down into the trenches and lighten up the mode. We need it. You need it.


images courtesy of


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3 thoughts on “Do you have a Sense of Humor?”

  1. So very true! I ran a team at a large company and we were all about having fun. We were also one of the most productive teams in the company, typically beating deadlines and coming in under budget. We were THE TEAM that everyone wanted to be on. It was also the happiest I had been at a job in a long time. Fun and humor can do a lot than just help you love your job, it helps with your performance!

    p.s. I loved the joke!

  2. Right on, David! Great article and great timing. Humor helps keep perspective which is so easy to lose these days when we don’t seem to have time to stop and collect our thoughts. Lots going on in our world that evokes anything but a laugh. But to address the issues we need to keep our heads about us. A sense of humor is not only good for our health as you say, but it’s what will help us keep perspective and focus to deal constructively with them. Thanks, David!

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