The DealBook newsletter delves into a single topic or theme every weekend, providing reporting and analysis that offers a better understanding of an important issue in business. If you don’t already receive the daily newsletter, sign up here.
Humor: Serious Business,” which shows aspiring executives and entrepreneurs how to leverage laughter for better relationships and business results. They’ve also distilled their findings into a new book, “Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is A Secret Weapon in Business and Life.”
But can people really be taught to be funny at work? Should people be taught to be funny at work?
If you explain a joke, its force disperses. The whole point of “The Office,” after all, is that it’s agony to work with a self-appointed comedian. And the framing of humor as a tool of self-advancement is somewhat unsettling, evoking the image of a sociopath calmly studying the human psyche’s soft spots to exploit them for professional gain.
Humor at work is much less about wisecracks than about levity: the shared moments of lightness that propel relationships forward and balance the seriousness of labor.
more motivating and admired. Their employees are more engaged. Their teams are more likely to solve a creativity challenge. There’s all this evidence around the R.O.I. of humor.
And then the failure myth: People think that failing at humor is going to have these huge repercussions. We teach our students that it’s so much less about telling jokes. It’s about cultivating joy.