The Performance Pro

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grow Teams, Productivity & Profits with Laughter

Laughter is serious business today. Researcher Chris Robert, a psychologist the University of Missouri at Columbia cites research showing that playing, having fun and laughing significantly impact cohesiveness and bonding among workers. The ability to laugh and make other people laugh has psychological affects on the body – causing people to become more bonded.

As a result of programs where I have engaged attendees in laugher exercises, and the development of their humor skills, I’ve seen first hand the positive outcomes. When blended with humor, even the heaviest lessons are perceived as being more acceptable and are more easily retained Humor positions people’s mindsets in an emotional zone where humans just naturally connect. I think we could say ‘the people who laugh together, stay together’ – or at least they remain connected in a very unique way.

Add to the rapport building that results from laughter, when one combines the physical and emotional impact, it’s no wonder that workplaces today are seeking to help their employees lighten up. We know people perform at higher levels when they are happy and well. Wellness research today shows that emotional stress is a bigger influence on the prediction of death from cancer and cardio-vascular conditions than smoking. Our stress is killing us!

Humor – especially joking around the job related issues —actually has a positive impact in the workplace. Of course, the key is that the laughter and humor must be kind, not hurtful. When used in this therapeutic manner, it generates a wellness sphere that spurs positivity and reduces stress, desk rage incidents, and leads to better over-all performance.

What will a sense of humor do for you? In addition to the cost savings on your organizations stress-related costs, and the fact that it will potentially keep you healthier and living longer, you will also find:

-- It’s a great tool for bridging the generation gaps
-- It frees the mind to be more creative, generating more great ideas.
-- People will be able to identify with you more easily
-- You’ll be seen as more real and even more likeable
-- You can use humor can bridge even the most difficult of topics & ease negotiations.
-- It aids in building trust
-- It generates team rapport
-- Others will start listening to you more.
-- Humor motivates, motivation increases productivity
-- People who enjoy work are less likely to call in sick.
-- Laughter reduces the harmful effects of stress on one's health.
-- It can alleviate pain and stress – and for that all will be grateful.


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