Episode 84: Using Humor At Work

As they say, laughter is the best medicine, and it's also a powerful tool in the workplace. In this episode, Paul Boross, author of “Humourology: The Serious Business of Humour At Work” and a leading business consultant, comedian, and keynote speaker, discusses the role of humor in improving relationships, trust, team performance, and leadership effectiveness. Paul shares how humor can create a positive work environment and help teams navigate challenges and changes. Plus, he offers tips on how to develop and use humor effectively in common business situations.

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Episode Highlights


What is humourology?


The value of laughter in the workplace


Why people don't choose humor more often at work


Subtle difference: laughing with someone vs. laughing at someone


Why the best ideas don't come from brainstorming sessions


Is there a mindset to using humor?


Balancing humor and being offensive


Advice on using humor in written communications


Using humor to improve relationship quality


Advice on using humor in written communications


Why icebreakers are unnecessary


Using the power of humor to navigate uncertainty


Truth as fuel for humor

Paul’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

"Finding a culture that works for everyone. I suppose you'll no doubt heard the phrase, the war for talent, which is based on the idea that smart people are out there, but not within your organization already, and that employees have to compete for the best people. Often this results in employees creating these cool trendy workplaces which look impressive, but which can hide toxic work practices.

If you're trying to build a business, it's not just about putting a ping pong table on the side or, or have funny pictures on the wall with with funny phrases. It's about creating an environment where someone comes to work thinking, I really want to see [my colleagues], because they're all good people, and we work well together and get the job done. Humor unites those people. And I think that's what's unmet. [It] is that humor that creates the humanity and allowing that to prosper."

What “working with humans” means to Paul

“I go back to the attitude of gratitude. Working with humans, means properly understanding humor. Understanding that humor is essential [because] it lubricates human relations, and therefore, humor is the essence of everything.”


Follow: Paul on LinkedIn
Visit: Paul's website
Read: Humourology: The serious business of humour at work

Michael Glazer is the creator and host of Humans At Work. His purpose in life is to make well-being at work a globally-accepted, basic human right. Learn more about Michael here.