How Your Funny Side Can Help Your Leadership

Last week Melbourne hosted Australia’s first all-women comedy featuring our country’s best female comics. It was ‘frocking hilarious’ as the event name aptly describes – and my ticket to go was a great early birthday present.

Humour is the fastest way to connect with others

What I noticed was each comic’s ability to connect with the audience – fast – through a formula. They:

  • Were vulnerable from the get go by admitting something personal about themselves which typically (if it was us, in comparison) wouldn’t get discussed – so they called out the elephant in the room that everyone could relate to through humour.
  • Spoke in everyday language which everyone gets. It made them real and easy to relate to. There was no jargon, big words, and maybe a bit of swearing…..
  • Shared stories. They chose everyday events – that can happen to anyone – and saw the funny side.

It got me thinking – anyone can learn this formula. We’re not born funny. Humour is one of the most effective-and under-appreciated tactics in communications.

We’re all busy with the multitude of things on our plate and getting things done. We forget to take ourselves lightly through the process.

“Over-seriousness is a warning sign for mediocrity and bureaucratic thinking. People who are seriously committed to mastery and high performance are secure enough to lighten up.” ~Michael J. Gelb

What is your funny side?

Connecting with others means revealing you in a way that others relate to. We all have a funny side. We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and it’s true. Laughter relieves tension and stress, elevates mood, enhances creativity, and boosts energy. Laughter also plays an essential role in building strong, healthy relationships by bringing people closer together.

Bell Leadership Institute found that the two most desirable traits in leaders were a strong work ethic and a good sense of humour.

You are funnier than you think

Allowing yourself to see the light hearted side – when it’s useful to see this side – is a good thing. It’s easy being caught up in being too serious. We lose sight of the fact that we’re not in control and our moments of experience in our day are to be enjoyed. It’s what life is about – in and out of work – don’t you think?

You don’t have to be a comedian. Don’t worry if you’re not naturally a light-hearted, humorous person—you can learn to access your playful side and develop your sense of fun.

  • Share things about yourself that others can relate to (be able to laugh at yourself)
  • Consider the ‘funny side’ of something is as you look at different perspectives to see something from. How would your ‘funny side’ view this and share it with others.

We can’t change what happens – we can choose our experience of it

Humour that hits the right mark is clever and brings people together. You can choose to take yourself lightly and see the possibility for what could be funny and share that spin on it in a way others relate to. It takes a little practice and its well worth it.

How can you have a little more fun in your day and bring your funny side to life?

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