Most people don’t mind going to work… it’s the 8-hour wait to get home that drives us all crazy. This sounds like a joke, but there’s actually a serious truth behind the notion that work can feel like an endless loop of tension. Everyone needs to have some fun once in a while. After all, nobody’s wired to work 24/7 without some kind of relaxation. As with all other aspects of leadership, the morale of a team ultimately boils down to the tone that’s set by its leadership. There’s always a cloud of seriousness that hangs over management. Those in charge have to keep everyone else in-line. They have to prevent mistakes while keeping everybody focused. They have to make tough decisions that often invite the wrath of others. Because of these responsibilities it’s perfectly understandable for discipline to take priority in leadership. However laboring nonstop in a serious environmen! t isn’t just exhausting, it’s stressful. Strong leadership is about striking a balance. It’s about being able to command respect, while also fostering levity through relatability and humor. Here are four key steps to inject some humor into your leadership style:

1.       Start with a Smile:

Before you ever crack a joke, or attempt to connect with people on a personal level at all, smile with them. Smile as you greet them, smile as you interact with them, and smile out of sincerity not obligation. Smiling seems trivial, but it is unbelievably powerful. A simple smile conveys approachability in ways that hundreds of words can never accomplish.

2.       Be Mindful of Timing:

The only thing worse than a bad joke is a good joke told at the wrong time. Before you ever decide to use humor in your conversation, always analyze the context in which you’re about to communicate. Pay attention to your audience and the overall atmosphere. If your humor will obviously fall flat because no one is in the frame of mind to receive it, then don’t attempt to make people laugh. Humor should never be forced, it should feel organic to the moment.

3.       Be Respectful:

Even with the most innocent of intentions, humor can easily offend people. Regardless of how comfortable you may feel around your colleagues, never crack jokes that are controversial or distasteful in any way. The safest bet is to keep things light and make your humor family-friendly. There’s no need to risk souring relationships with coworkers when you all still need to function as a team.

4.       Create a Diversion:

Let’s face it, not everyone has the charm and charisma to make other people laugh. That doesn’t mean you don’t have any options to make an office humorous though. You can still improvise with activities or outings that create an opportunity to bond and joke. Friendly in-house competitions for instance can generate banter and inside-jokes that ease everyone’s stress. Just be sure to choose activities that are compatible with your organizational culture.

Humor is far from the most important characteristic a leader should have, but it’s still necessary. Humor reminds people that life’s too short. It reminds people to be human, not robotic. It reminds people that the work they do is just a part of life, not life itself. Don’t ever take the power of laughter for granted. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.