Humor Is the Best Way to Overcome Adversity

Take a minute to think – how many times a day do you laugh at work? Of those times you’ve thought of, how many times have you laughed with your boss? Skilled leaders within a company understand the importance of these four organizational outcomes (also known as the 4Cs): Community, Composure, Change, and Creativity. „Stand-Up Strategists“ understand how to utilize humor through the 4S – Styles of Humor.

What are the Styles of Humor? These were identified based on research to understand humor-driven dynamics within organizations.

  •  Sensory humor is a leader projecting energy, positivty, and a general humorous outlook with their team.
  •  Social humor involves jokes or stories intended to build trust and promote team bonding.
  •  Self-depricating humor is the leader being able to laugh at themself to facilitate more openness and intimate relationships.
  •  Strong humor is sarcastic or involves cynacism. It tends to be most associated with negative emotions, so this style of humor is most limited by leaders within organizations.

How does this relate to successful leadership in an organization? Let’s go back to the four organizational outcomes (The 4Cs) mentioned above to see where humor can be leveraged as effective.

Community: It is typical that collaboration is important in all business settings. Without a sense of community, there is likely to be marginally less successfully executed projects. Psychologists understand that people who laugh together tend to bond better. A leader can set the tone for the group and project a more humorous and relaxed attitude. This can inject a more playful aspect into the day to day interactions and build a stronger sense of community.

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Composure: Studies on stress and coping strategies have shown that people with a high sense of humor tend to experience less stress than individuals with a low sense of humor. The style of social humor is best used here, as this can make individuals feel less isolated and increases the purpose of overcoming adversity. In a group situation, humor reduces the pressure of stress.

Change: Communicating organizational changes to employees is extremely important. These topics can be heavy or received in a way that is negative because change is hard to accept sometimes. Using humor in day to day interactions builds trust, which will improve listening and retaining skills, as well as receiving the message in a positive way. Employees resist change because of fear of the unknown, so if they have trust in their leaders, changes can be more fluid.

Creativity: Finally, how does humor help the creative side of employees? Fun in a workplace can release physical and cognitive tension, which leads employees to be more open-minded. This will boost creativity and critical thinking in problem solving situations. These insights show why successful leaders leverage humor along with a playful work environment.

The workplace is an environment that can be dry, boring and sometimes unpleasant. Leaders can be trailblazers in a movement of fun and togetherness through a way that almost all people can enjoy and relate to – laughter and lightheartedness! In a stressful world, we have to remember: “Life is short; smile while you still have teeth.“ -Unknown

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Humor Is the Best Way to Overcome Adversity. (2022, Feb 17). Retrieved from

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