“When leaders show their vulnerabilities, they reduce feelings of intimidation and improve their likability; this can make people feel more comfortable admitting their own mistakes, expressing their concerns and challenging the leaders, all of which can enhance performance.” Dr Vanessa Marcie
Don’t take yourself too seriously. As a leader, when you are under pressure, the first thing which tends to disappear is your sense of humour. If you think about it, using humour in a stressful situation shows that you are in control of yourself and the situation.
Don’t hesitate to use humour
Obviously, in some situations, humour isn’t appropriate: If people’s lives are at stake or if it is a financial matter, for example. Otherwise, we can use humour without restriction. Most of our careers don’t require the level of seriousness that we apply to it. We are not all surgeons in the middle of a crucial surgery. Most of us put unnecessary pressure on ourselves for matters that could be dealt with a bit more levity and humour.
Humour should not make up for poor performance
It should come in addition to your performance. You need to deliver and use humour as an additional skill, which gives you a competitive edge. You can’t use humour to cover the fact that you’re not delivering what is expecting from you in your job. Get things done and, along the way, show people that you can stop and have a good laugh.
For most of us, what we do doesn’t require the level of gravity we think is inherent to our position. What is stopping us from infusing a bit of humour and fun in what we do? Start the virtuous circle and lead by example in taking yourself a bit less seriously. It will make you a more successful leader and will supercharge positively your relationships.
- Use humour to cope with stress
- Avoid humour if people’s lives are in danger or in a financial crisis
- Don’t use humour to cover your poor performance
- Lead by example
Do you lead a team? Do you want to improve your leadership skills? Learn how to use Humour in Leadership. We offer a curriculum of virtual classes (new dates added regularly) and 1-1 coaching programmes to help leaders to master a leadership tool for the 21st century: humour. Our curriculum is designed to provide deep self-awareness, awareness of others and a mindset shift on work and life.
Do you want to bring Leading With Humour at your workplace? Find out how.