Do you struggle to get your team to collaborate on work? Maybe you’ve tried everything, but disagreements about ideas as well as personality conflicts still take up too much time and emotional energy?
You may have a group who are all individually excellent at what they do, but if they aren’t working together, you’re missing out on the one ingredient that will raise productivity exponentially.
What if the group could become more cohesive and enjoy work more at the same time? Read on to learn more.
The Value of Laughter
Some believe hearing laughter as you walk through a company or business is a sign that people are goofing off rather than working. I see it as a sign of an extraordinary team! Here’s a handful of reasons why.
Emotional bonding. Laughing together connects people, which creates a stronger team.
Conflict management. Laughter helps us let go of wounded feelings when someone else’s ideas are perceived as better than ours, and it helps us bypass defensiveness when our ideas are being judged negatively.
Stress reduction. It’s physically impossible to laugh and be stressed in the same moment. When stress is reduced in a team, people cut each other slack, take time to slow down and connect, and make better group decisions.
More creativity. Laughter creates psychological distance from a problem, which is often what’s needed to come up with an inspired solution.
Better communication. Laughing together increases comfort levels between individuals. This ease of being together opens lines of communication.
How to do it
Here’s a brief list of ways that a supervisor or manager can infuse a workplace with humor.
- Tell funny stories and ask other to share theirs
- Play games
- Laugh at your own mistakes and quirks
- Share humorous comic strips
- Do an arts and crafts project together
- Hire funny people
Pitfalls to Avoid
It probably goes without saying that in the workplace, you have to keep your humor appropriate. But humor, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder. What you might think is appropriate, another person may not.
Here are two tips to ensure you don’t offend someone.
1) Use only positive forms of humor. Avoid humor that puts other people down, whether it is an individual or a group, and whether it is someone inside or outside the organization. It’s okay to laugh at yourself, but not at others.
2) Don’t cross into risky or unprofessional topics such as sex, religion, or politics.
Although getting together outside the workplace to do fun activities together such as bowling, mini golf, or karaoke can be fun getaways, look for ways to keep the laugher in the work setting.
Being able to laugh together outside of work doesn’t guarantee it will carry over to the work setting. Levity is of greatest value in the heat of a tense moment of conflict or as an on-the-spot antidote for stress.
Share Your Funny
In what ways can you use humor to improve collaboration within your team?
What funny stories can you share that others can pass along to make their teams laugh?
You can leave your answers in a comment below.
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