Levity is a Funny Thing
This week marks the anniversary of the Coen’s brothers movie Blood Simple. Admittedly, I’ve never seen the movie, but the Coen’s are among my favorite movie makers and that movie put them on the map.
Raising Arizona and O Brother, Where Art Thou are among my favorite all time films. I’m looking forward to checking out Hail, Caesar but will continue to avoid The Big Lebowski on some kind of weird principle that has also kept me from watching Titanic. I guess it just feels like jumping on the bandwagon when I’d rather be in the band.
Suffice it to say, though, that I like humor and I like to laugh. At work, at home, wherever I am. Humor is very welcome in my world.
Why You Gotta Be Like That?
Have you ever worked for someone who just had no sense of humor? I once worked for someone who, literally, I only heard laugh in mocking fashion at someone as she was about to tell the poor soul (often me) how stupid he or she had been. She even once told a guy that worked for me to stop smiling in a meeting because there was nothing to smile about.
True story. Miserable experience.
Is it Appropriate?
I have always felt humor in the workplace is a valuable tool. It creates a culture in which employees feel more engaged because, for one, they are more at ease and not constantly walking on egg shells. Study after study has shown that appropriate humor in the workplace is good for everything from employee health to profit. But the trick is that darned word “appropriate.”
How do you know what is appropriate and what is not? The answer can change depending on a multitude of variables including company size, line of business and the employees themselves. A good rule of thumb is to keep your humor G or PG-13 rated at worst. If it is sexist, racist, religious or any other “ist” or “ous”, think twice before saying it.
There are plenty of funny things to say and observe at work without going to humor destinations better suited for the bar or shared in private.
The Weekly See 7 – January 18, 2016 Edition.
Humor at work is the subject of the January 18, 2016 edition of my newsletter, The Weekly See 7. Enjoy…and lighten up!