Monday, 3 June 2013

Humor is Serious - 6 tips for Leaders

"If I were two faced, would I be wearing this one ? "

 This is a famous quote by Abraham Lincoln .  A simple one liner quote, but indeed a very powerful one . It shows his ability to laugh at himself . 

A recent study found that when employees are asked to describe the strengths and weaknesses of senior colleagues in their organizations, “sense of humor” and “work ethic” are mentioned twice as much as any other phrases. Research on Leadership show that people appreciate leaders who have fun and work hard to get the job done. Those who can combine a strong work ethic and sense of humor may have the leading edge in their organizations. 

If you lose a major project, or sometimes if you cannot meet a critical deadline however hard you might try due to some external reasons, guiding your team through the process without panicking is as challenging as it is important. It is better to motivate your team by laughing than by crying.  Such situations show the tenacity of the leader and the team gets the much needed relaxation to put their best foot forward and overcome the situation. A good sense of humor keeps the team motivated and charged.

True leaders should always be capable of laughing at themselves. This shows the confidence and the childlike nature of the leader and the team feels at ease and relaxed which boosts the productivity and it softens the blow of bad news.

But again, humor is a tricky thing . The following are some tips which will help the leader use humor appropriately :

  • A Leader is NOT a comedian.  Humor should be used for leadership and motivating and making the team relaxed and more productive
  • Humor should not be pointed at any one particular person, rather it should be collective.
  • Humor should never be discriminating. Never use humor to cloak racist, sexist or regional sentiments and tag them as "just joking" .
  • Laugh at yourself and the situation . Laugh WITH the team and not ON the team .
  • It is better to avoid practical jokes since we do not know how the other person will take it. It might happen that instead of being motivated or relaxed s/he feels awkward and singled out.
  • Last, but not at all the least... do NOT fake it ... ! It shows! And it will have a negative effect on the team's perception about you.

So go ahead and have a good laugh with your team  !

No comments:

Post a Comment