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The Use and Abuse of Humour At Work

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Posted 29 July 2016 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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You may find the following will help with your people management skills.

The Use and Abuse of Humour at Work

At work, it can be good to have a laugh and can be very beneficial:.

  • Laughing can help build a good team spirit.
  • It can make the time pass more quickly.
  • It can make you appear more attractive.
  • Humour can make work more fun.

It is GOOD to have a laugh.

But not always!

Sometimes it is NOT good to laugh. Sometimes it is better to NOT clown around.

There are two things to be wary of;

  1. Humour as a weapon.
  2. Too much self-depreciative humour.

1. Using humour as a weapon

Be cautious of anyone who uses humour as a weapon to tear others down.

Some people have hostile intentions, but they express those hostile intentions in the form of sarcastic humour or jokes at the other's expense.

Some people use humour as a form of passive aggression or bullying.

I call this type, The Smiling Assassin.

Don't be a smiling assassin.

And don't allow the smiling assassin the freedom to attack you in meetings, and dress it up as a "Joke".

Take-on the smiling assassin.

2. Self-depreciative humour

Be cautious of using too much self-depreciative humour. This is when a person makes himself/herself the butt of their own jokes. He turns himself into a clown and puts himself down, as a joke.

A small amount of self-depreciation is endearing, as it shows that you are not egotistical. But if you do it too much, you turn into a Boris Johnson-type clown figure.

And it is interesting to note that Boris Johnson failed to achieve his stated goal of becoming prime minister; partly due to the fact that he has spent many years building a public persona that is that of the clown. And nobody will follow a clown into battle.

So don't always strive to be the funny one, in the meeting.

You don't have to be a comedian, to win.

Let the other person be the funny one, whilst you concern yourself with making the decisions.

Don't be the funny guy;

Be a serious person, with a sense of humour.

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