Using Humor in Business: Some Practical Advice

A great article through Linkedin

Is business the right place to be funny? Surely business is a serious place and humor doesn’t have a place in it? I disagree, I think humour is greatly underused in business today and can differentiate you from the crowd. Let me give you an example…

When I was in corporate life I attended one of my first very senior meetings. It was on the top floor of our HQ, and in the special board meeting room where only the most senior exec met. You had to have an IQ test before they let you in!

As I entered the meeting room and sat down I looked around and was surprised by the lack of conversation as we waited for people to arrive. You could feel the tension in the room. I had to make a decision. Do I join them and just sit there and say nothing or do I act normal? Well normal for me anyway! I decided to act normal, so I did something terrible! I spoke to them and made a few funny comments! I decided to treat them as I would if I met them socially. I asked them how their weekend had been. These guys looked at me shocked! As I didn’t get much of a reply from them I started to tell them a funny story about something that happened to me at the weekend. Within 5 minutes everyone was laughing, the tone of the remainder of the meeting was business like but when appropriate I threw in the odd quip to lighten the mood. I had cracked the ice and more importantly for my career, I had made an impression. They wouldn’t forget who I was…

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