Humor in the Workplace – the list…

Toni Boyles – Humor in the Workplace (notes by Sharon)

  • Ice breaker – pick who you want to be and introduce yourself to 5 people – I met Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Obama, & Clinton!
  • Define Humor: healing, smiles, laughs, unexpected, dry, puns, dark humor is tragedy + timing, ability to laugh at yourself
  • Define negative humor – you can’t it’s an oxymoron.  If it’s negative, it’s sarcasm, racial slurs, etc.
  • Why do we need humor in our lives?
    • Lightens up situations
    • You feel better
    • Inborn – babies smiling is natural
    • Natural stress reliever
    • Diffuser
    • Brings positive energy
    • Saves $ on meds
    • Transcends language
    • Coping mechanism
    • Makes learning easier – put comic strips in teaching presentations!
    • Bonding aid – people bond over laughter and tears
    • Makes life better
    • Burns calories
    • Puts things in perspective
  • Are people afraid of humor? Why?
    • Fear rejection and embarrassment
    • “don’t get jokes”
    • You have to lower your barriers to let folks in – can be scary
    • Don’t want to be seen as foolish or childish
      • There’s a difference between childish and child-like
  • How do you add humor to the workplace?
    • Use cartoons – Dilbert, Calvin, Far Side, Unshelved
    • Jokes- share, tell, etc.
    • Show “Drill Team for Retired Guys” YouTube video before a meeting to lighten mood
    • Sing! “I feel good”
    • Dress up on holidays – include the public.  One library had “Bahamas day” when their AC was out of order.
    • FISH philosophy – play at work
    • Use toys and props
    • Have “Happy Hour” at the beginning of the day – only say positive things for an hour!
    • QBQ by John Miller – resource
    • Red noses, fuzzy dice, play hammer (put problem on piece of paper and hammer it!), giant band-aid on broken computers, superman cape for IT staff, majig wand to give super powers to survive the day or be the ‘wand of patience’ or to grant immunity from answering the phone for the day



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