We’ve already mentioned some of the remarkable benefits humor can bring: It can reduce negative emotions, improve health and make you more persuasive. Our internal consultants asked us to focus on three key benefits and give them trademarkable names. Yes, we have consultants. We’re sorry too.
Specifically, the research has found that humor can be a secret weapon™, it can build your tribe™, and it can diffuse tension™.
DO I NEED A WHOLE WEEK’S WORKBOOK?
We’ve established how powerful humor is. Now you know that it makes you seem more attractive to employers, brings you closer together with peers, and reduces group negativity. This all sounds nice but is it really worth a whole week’s workbook? Why should you take a week out of your busy schedules to think about humor?
We believe there are two reasons. First, statistically speaking, you’ve stopped being funny. Second, humor has healing power that our world needs now more than ever.
THE HUMOR CLIFF
Working professionals are in the midst of a humor drought. Studies have demonstrated that reported laughter, a great proxy for humor, declines sharply when we enter the workforce between ages 22-24. We forget to have fun. In essence, we fall off of a humor cliff.
The good news is, you can climb back up that cliff. Or, if you’re younger than 22, you can stop yourself from falling off.
THE POWER TO HEAL
Humor has the ability to remediate some of society's developing and perturbing issues. Various trends point towards an overall decrease in life satisfaction. Automatization and digitalization of jobs is fueling economic uncertainty. Stress levels are increasing. Divisiveness is on the rise. The world is, in many ways, in a sore spot.
Luckily, humor has the power to help heal our health, our relationships, our organizations, and ultimately our world.
OH NO. WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
Breathe. Breathe. Turn on Saturday Night Live. Now listen here. There’s something you can do about it. We’ve been in the Giggles Game (tried to trademark it, we were laughed out of the patent office) a long time now and we can share a couple of tips to rediscover your funny.
First, we need to discover your unique style of humor.
Second, we need to bring out your inner comedian.
Humor Audit + 360
You’re about to get audited. But don’t worry, we aren’t asking you for tax returns. We’re going to assess your style of humor.
Answer the following 5 questions about yourself to get a sense for how you think of yourself comedically:
01. Describe your humor in 5 words (or if you’re verbose, a sentence).
02. How does your humor change in different contexts?
03. How has your humor changed over the years?
04. What famous comedian/famous person are you most like?
05. Describe a time when your jokes crushed (ambulances were needed because the audience forgot how to breathe).
06. Describe a time when your humor fell flat.
You might be clueless about your own humor. In fact, research suggests that others might know you (and your funny) - more than you do. So, send 2-3 friends or colleagues this link → Humor 360 to get their insights on your own humor (feel free to ask more).* You will get their answers emailed to you. After you read their answers, write down what surprised you: What gaps exist between your own perceptions of your humor style and their perceptions? What did you learn?