Top Ten Quotes: Humor, Seriously
What do you get when you take two Stanford Business School profs, toss in some academic research, and sprinkle on a bit of improv training? You get a book that looks a lot like Humor, Seriously: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life.
In our current age of perpetual anger, depressing seriousness, and total inability to lighten up, I found Naomi Bagdonas and Jennifer Aaker’s work to be a playful, yet well-researched foray into humor at work. If you find yourself struggling with the “right” time to add levity, if you think humor in the meeting room in always a risk, if you simply don’t think you have a sense of humor, pick up this book.
Here are my top ten favorite quotes:
- Deploying [humor] doesn’t make light of serious things, it means you’re able to move forward, in spite of those serious things.
- …when we refuse to take ourselves so seriously, we relieve the stress standing in the way of serious work, create more meaningful connections with our colleagues, and open our minds to more innovative solutions.
- “You can always tell how smart someone is by what they laugh at.” (Tina Fey)
- Humor charms and disarms. Even small gestures of levity are powerful in negotiations, in part because they spark human connection—and when we connect as people, we often get more of what we both want.
- Remember, the goal is not necessarily to tell jokes or even be funny—it’s to make more human connections during everyday moments, and to be more productive and effective (not to mention less bored) in the process.
- [E]mployees who work in high-trust environments are 32 times more likely to take risks that might benefit the company, 11 times more likely to see higher levels of innovation relative to their competition, and 6 times more likely to achieve higher levels of performance compared with others in their industry.
- Culture Carriers are natural leaders and rising stars in the organization, for whom humor also happens to be a natural strength.
- Look for organic moments of delight, support them, and then get out of the way.
- …the times when I’m feeling out of step with my own life—when I feel I’m not living properly—are when I’m having the least amount of fun.
- If you get in the habit of your life being fun, if you move through life believing it’s supposed to be that way, you’ll notice when it’s not.
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