ArticlesCheryl L Kane, MBA
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Humor as a Management Skill

Managing people and running a business is serious work. Having a good sense of humor is an important key to the success of both. How, you ask? Formal research has proven what many of us already know and often forget. There is a dynamic power in the appropriate use of humor when working with people.

First, appropriate humor is surprising, enlightening, refreshing, ironic or self-deprecating (the boss, especially, should be able to laugh at her or him self.) Inappropriate humor to avoid that which is in any way sarcastic, abusive or discriminatory.

Understanding how humor helps you manage people and processes will prompt you to know what kind of humor may be useful in various situations.

Improves Productivity
*enhances learning capacity
*increases memorability
*reduces sales resistance
*aids persuasiveness
    Enhances Teamwork & Problem Solving
*breaks the ice
*diffuses anger
*counteracts feelings of alienation
*enhances cohesion in a diverse group
Manages Tough Situations
*increases (feeling of) control
*refreshes one's perspective
*reduces feeling of a "threat"
*enables acceptance of change
    Improves Physical Health
*reduces blood pressure
*strengthens immune system
*increases energy level
*reduces depression

You don't have to be a humorist to be good at using humor. Resources with appropriate humor abound. Quotation books, autobiographies of comedians, web sites and daily cartoons are readily available. Simply using a quotation by someone else or sharing a cartoon that fits a situation can bring a refreshing smile to all and create a more conducive environment to many business transactions.

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