Why does everyone like humorous people

HUMOR IN THE WORK "Humorous people are successful"

Habuka Baw! Have you ever interrupted a meeting like this? Or put on a red nose? If not, the time is right now! In an interview, the two humor coaches Cornelia Schinzilarz and Charlotte Friedli explain why humor makes us more efficient and successful at work Femelle.

Why is laughter the best medicine?

Cornelia Schinzilarz: Laughing is sport and sport is healthy. The abdominal muscles are trained and our lungs fill with air. Our brain is supplied with oxygen and supplied with blood. So laughter is a real freshener!

Charlotte Friedli: And of course it's good for beauty too! Because when someone makes a grouchy face, more wrinkles form than when someone smiles. (laughs)

And what does laughter do for our soul?

Friedli: Every smile, however small and quiet, is immediately transferred to our brain. There it signals: Yeah, I'm fine! So when we smile, we put ourselves in a cheerful mood.

Schinzilarz: Laughter produces happiness hormones. This affects the body and when we feel happier, we also have a lighter, serene soul. To put it simply: when we laugh, we make our life easier.

Friedli: The gray, rainy Monday morning remains the same, but the way we deal with it changes.

Schinzilarz: Or when I imagine I work in an open-plan office, slept badly last night and today the noise level annoys me more than usual. Then I can increase my stress tolerance with targeted smiles and laughter. This makes the same situation easier to deal with.

So humor is a way of life?

Schinzilarz: Yes, it is also an attitude that we can develop. That's the page. The other is that humor is a solid strategy that we can use in coping with everyday and professional situations.

So should we take humor seriously?

Both: Oh yes! (laugh)

Friedli: Humor is very serious! (laughs) Unfortunately, in our society that is treated separately: Either we are serious or we laugh. These are two opposing poles that do not even exist. But you can also be serious while laughing! When we laugh, we have more strength, we are more motivated and we are better received by the people around us.

Schinzilarz: Many philosophers have dealt with humor and Hannah Arendt said, for example, that laughter is a thought event. That means, even when we laugh, we are profound and profound. Instead of saying «Laughter is superficial» and «If you smile, you will not be taken seriously», we realize that we have completely different options and can change situations.

Friedli: And humor is more than just smiling. Of course, the superficial expression is the friendly face. But we want to show that humor is a professional tool that can be used by managers and employees in a targeted manner.

As a humor coach, you will show companies how to integrate humor into everyday work. What do you understand by humor in a professional context?

Schinzilarz: Strategic approaches, techniques and interventions to irritate, surprise, loosen up, facilitate and open up a different perspective in different situations. But also to become aware of your own potential and possibilities that a situation offers.

In your book you propose to switch to gibberish - a fantasy language - in meetings, to put on a red nose or to use grotesque expressions like "vine tomato again!" to use. Do your work colleagues still take you seriously?

Schinzilarz: Deeply! Because we make sure that the situation is relaxed. And the others are grateful for that.

Friedli: It's a great loosening agent! For example, as a lecturer, I simply speak gibberish when I notice that I'm lost in my thoughts. Then I say «Habukladaka Brrrlaaa», laugh and explain it again.

So professionalism doesn't suffer?

Friedli: No, not at all. We are often caught in communication loops and nothing goes on! This can easily be broken by irritating and dissolving the system with a jolt, so that a completely different situation arises.

Schinzilarz: For some moments you need lightness. Like a short gust of wind that makes the air better. It's about changing the atmosphere.

What do employers gain when they incorporate humor?

Schinzilarz: The colleagues work more efficiently, with higher quality and with each other instead of against each other. They are clearly solution-oriented instead of dealing with human issues.

So when you're joking, are you more productive?

Friedli: Humor in a professional environment doesn't mean knocking on slogans and joking around. It has to do with attitude! A humorous posture is upright and smiling. When everyday life is cheerful, everyone is motivated.

Schinzilarz: If we like each other, we just prefer to work together. We don't ask ourselves: How do I slow my colleagues down? We show more willingness to find common solutions. Many companies are now realizing that leadership also means that employees feel good. And that is easy to achieve with humorous strategies - but in an appreciative way, that is very important to us. That we deal with humor in a resource-oriented manner and not become borderline-breaking.

Many are sure to make a mistake because they misunderstand this. Where is the line between humorous and ridiculous?

Friedli: It is important to be aware that you cannot transfer your private humor to your job. It's really about using humor in a professional context. And that is something to learn.

Schinzilarz: We have developed ethical guidelines that make it clear that we act in an ethically responsible and well thought-out humor. So I know exactly what I can achieve and say with which compliment and wit.

For example, how do compliments differ in professional and private life?

Friedli: Compliments at work are not aimed at my appearance or my being, but rather at my performance. Because we are there to do what we are paid to do. And if we perform well and it is good, then it needs compliments.

What does a working day look like when it is all about humor?

Schinzilarz: For example, a team starts the day by greeting each other in a friendly manner. At work, they regularly make sure that people laugh. So that we don't forget, smileys are hanging on the walls or there is a bell to remind us. During the lunch break, compliments are given and success stories are told instead of getting lost in gossip. In the afternoon, the wonderful thing about the day is pointed out and in the evening we say goodbye to each other with a beaming smile, look forward to the next day and go into the evening cheerfully.

For some employees, smileys on the walls may seem strange.

Friedli: Yes, at first sight. But when, after half a day at work, you feel that you are feeling different and the whole team is different, your first concerns are gone.

Are there situations in which humor coaching does not work or reaches its limits?

Schinzilarz: No. As a humor coach, I also accompany bullying situations, for example. Here it is important for those affected to see themselves as an independent and active person and not as a victim. Ideally with all the charisma and full self-confidence.

And where is the humor?

Schinzilarz: In clear self-awareness and posture. Because when we say «Wait a minute, what you're doing here violates every ethical and criminal law norm», nobody can avoid it. And it is also important to hold the perpetrators accountable. We are not only paid to perform, but also to be collegial and to treat each other in a friendly and appreciative manner. In humor coaching, that's exactly what we demand.

Soft skills are becoming more and more important in professional life. Does humor also count?

Friedli: Absolutely. Humor is an integral part.

Are humorous people successful people?

Friedli: Yes, of course. If you ask successful people, they will tell you that humor has always been essential in their careers. Even if you look at job advertisements for higher management positions, “humorous” is very often required as a quality. It's a trait that we get ahead with. And humor ranges from smiles to roaring laughter with red noses, gibberish, jumping around the room and the very quiet moments when it's just about thinking differently.

Charlotte Friedli is a lecturer in communication. The humor expert works as a trainer in practice.

Cornelia Schinzilarz is a humor expert and works as a coach and lecturer. She is also the owner of the KICK Institute for Coaching and Communication.

Together you wrote and published the book “Humor in Coaching, Consulting and Training” (see book tip). At humorvoll.ch you can find out more about training as a humor coach.

Book tip

"Humor in Coaching, Consulting and Training" by Cornelia Schinzilarz and Charlotte Friedli deals with the professional use of humor. It amuses its readers with numerous exercises and methods for everyday use.

Interview: Nina Grünberger, November 13, 2013

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