Category Archives: Daily life

Boardroom versus Bedroom humour

Drawing a line between bedroom and boardroom humour may not be that easy. The subject of the jokes and the people involved guides  what matters are laughable.

  Boardroom Humour

Bedroom Humour

Subject of       jokes

In the corporate world, laughable matters are certainly more restrained than in a non-professional setting. It does vary from one industry to another. The corporate culture and the company behavioural policies are two things that you need to be aware of when bringing humour to the workplace. I would add  that common sense dictates to steer clear from offensive jokes, avoid joking at anyone’s expense and stay away from sensitive topics such as religion, politics and sexuality…. Otherwise the pink slip may land on your desk and your professional reputation could be damaged. In a private setting, virtually anything can be the subject of a joke. A quote from famous French humourist Pierre Desproges comes to my mind:

You can laugh of everything, but not with everybody.”

Humour can drastically vary from one person to another. The personality, cultural background, current state of mind and the overall life experience have an impact on listing laughable matters.

People

When you spend 9 hours a day Monday to Friday with your colleagues, it is natural that some amicable relationships develop. You may socialize beyond office hours. With this closeness developing you may be tempted by more casual jokes at the office. My thought on that is there is always the potential for a pair of ears listening where they are not supposed to. It is better to joke as you would with your other co-workers using common sense and respecting your company rules. Before cracking a joke, even in a private setting: ask yourself, how well do I know the person? If he/she is a person you have known for a long time and are close to, you know right away the joke territory you can venture on. However if the person is a more casual acquaintance, I would opt for the prudent approach and stick with light topics.

BoardroomversusBedroom

Both photos found on Pixabay belong to the public domain.

Sense of humour: a requirement to work in client service

CustomersServicesIf it is important to live your life with a sense of humour, then I believe humour is also an important skill for any type of client services job. I have looked at many client services job descriptions, but surprisingly, sense of humour is rarely listed as a required skill. Not only for the customers – a sense of humour is proven to be very beneficial for your colleagues (this does include peers and management) and for yourself.

For yourself:  Being in the front line and dealing with a wide variety of customers inquiries/demands is already tough. Adding to that, the emotional and sometimes irrational outbursts of customers, it becomes even tougher. After moments of stress, having a laughter break helps release the physical and mental tensions to maintain a balanced state of mind. A funny memory, a silly quote, a hilarious video or simply a quick chat with your go-to joke person usually will do the trick.

For your colleagues: most organizations usually have an entire team dedicated to client services. As a matter of fact, humour draws people together and strengthens the team cohesion. I am always grateful to hear someone telling a joke or laughing in a positive way. I usually will not miss an opportunity to create a laughter wave around me because I know it is always appreciated.

For your customers: there is always a place and time to use humour. When a customer speaks to you with an irritated voice, venturing in a joke is certainly not an option. However, it may become possible once the customer calms down. Using your own judgment, you need to ensure the client is in a humour receptive mode. You also need to gauge the appropriateness of the joke and take into consideration the timing. My philosophy is to laugh with the customer – not at the customer. With advancement in technology and perfectly written call scripts, humour brings a human and personal touch to the conversation and allows customers to relax and be in a better state of mind to make the right decision. Moreover, the organization’s reputation in providing great client service spreads around which makes exciting customers happy and attracts new ones. Humour should be included in customer service training materials.

When workplaces invest in humour, it is a guaranteed Return On Investment.  As Micheal Kerr concludes in his video:”You need to put humour to work for less stress and more success”.

To laugh at yourself, love yourself first

leave-heart
The symbol of love can be seen anywhere

In a society where a person has to appear physically and mentally perfect all the time, as human beings, dealing with our shortcomings can be daunting, let alone laugh at them. To laugh at yourself you must love yourself first: not under-love or over-love yourself; this is easier said than done.

If your self-esteem is low, you would probably engage in self-deprecating and/or self destructive humour. On the other side of the coin, if you are described as narcissistic, you would consider yourself too perfect to be able to laugh at yourself. How to find the right balance? I do not intend to give lessons on how to love yourself, but I found some pertinent resources that can help in this path. About loving yourself, Louise Hay, an author and motivational speaker, writes ” I mean having a deep appreciation for who we are. ” We accept all the different parts of ourselves—our little peculiarities, the embarrassments, the things we may not do so well, and all the wonderful qualities, too.” On the Huffington Post, Margaret Paul, a relationship expert, lists 9 Ways to love yourself. Wikihow published a detailed article on How to love yourself.

Once you are in the balanced space of loving yourself for who you are including your imperfections, then laughing at yourself will come more naturally. LOU (Laughter Online University) clearly points out that laughing at yourself is a sign of wisdom: ““Choosing to remain positive and be comfortable with your imperfections and the challenges in your life does not mean you have to be complacent about them. You should not. Laughing about them is a sign of maturity. Accepting and embracing our frailty and shortcomings as human beings opens the door to compassion.” As Lois Mcelravy, a Laughter Coach, underlines: ” Remember, it’s not just what you do that defines who you are. More over, it’s how you handle what you do, that defines who you really are.

One day a couple of year ago, while looking myself in the mirror, I noticed my first white hair. I felt so frustrated  by being suddenly reminded about the aging process when media constantly bombards us with messages/pictures about looking young forever. As if it was a total disaster, I was totally in the “why is this happening to me?” state of mind. After the initial shock of my discovery, I told myself that I cannot be defeated by one tiny white hair. Instead of focussing on the negative side of my white enemy, I chose to turn it into a friend by calling it my wisdom hair. Since that time I kept telling my audience that the visible part of my wisdom keeps growing year after year.

Photo Credit Matia M on Flickr