I had the good fortune of being interviewed by Marcy Heim about the work I do with humor in the fund development field. Through our conversation, we had 13 points, who knew! So now, I share them with you as we go forward in the New Year. Now that you’ve quit your resolutions – try these tips for adding more daily humor. In business and life try these tips on leading into the New Year. At work, create employee moral (even if you are a business of one) by using these tips for yourself in the work place. Generate family bonds with a new outlook. These tips will help you lead into the New Year with a great outlook, a humorous outlook.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. Mistakes happen. We all learn and don’t get worked up about it. If you need to address it, address it with humor and get back to doing your great deeds.
- Humor all around! Can you find the humor? I bet you can. Start looking at your situation, environment in a new light. When you have a different perspective, then you start to see things in a more lighthearted way. It takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start earlier
- Practice a good, appropriate joke or light-hearted story. What is your kind of funny? We all have different thoughts on what is humor. What’s your comfortable level? Find a humorous cartoon, joke or story that is a staple go to for now. Look to newspaper headlines, local politics, a favorite cartoon or affirmation that makes you smile. Sometimes it takes practice. Find a great lighthearted or humorous story and let that be a go-to piece when you want to break the ice.
- Smile and SAY THE WORD, “SMILE.” Unfortunately, there will be times when we might have some downs, or know someone going through a difficult time. Why not just tell them, I’m here to be with you and smile with you.
- Remember people who lift you, help you. Sometimes, we are in situations where the entire environment might seem to be a little down. Simply think of something or someone that brings happiness to you and this will lift you in your moment.
- Honor yourself as you use humor. It should not steal your credibility. Don’t knock yourself down or belittle yourself with self-deprecating humor. It’s what all the big comics do, but this shows that you undervalue yourself. Simply be generic with your humor when it comes to yourself. Making it personal is fine, just don’t use language that is too hard on yourself.
- Borrowing from theater….good improvisational actors listen intently to Find the gift or nugget of information to build the action off of. Listening to your co-workers, family and friends will help you find signals or messages that you might not have heard otherwise. This will help you to focus on them, making them feel heard and appreciated.
- Give permission to your staff, colleagues, family, and friends to have light moments. Create opportunities to share in funny activities. One example….find a photo or drawing off the internet and have a caption contest for the funniest caption. It’s free, doesn’t take much time and reading the captions will generate laughter and camaraderie. This can also be an effective problem-solver. Take a challenge and ask the team to start with the silliest idea they can imagine to fix it. These ideas can actually lead to the solution.
- In any stressful setting – work, family, or school or the holidays, humor can be a tension reliever. Fill yourself with light-heartedness and share this with around you to break down nervous barriers in stressful situations.
- Change your vocabulary. Replace the typical “fillers” with words that reflect you authentically. (How are you today? Fine.) “Awesome!” if you mean it, will brighten any conversation.
- In times of stress to try to alleviate the “elephant in the room” and interject some lightheartedness. Scan the room. Look for something in the environment that can take on a humorous bent or simply Pull the subject away from the more serious concern at the time and provide a lighter conversation
- Advocate with kindness. When you need something to accomplish a donor gift, take a look around you. Instead of focusing on getting what you think is right, seek common ground. Ask for what you need, but be open to accepting sharing the information and finding a mid-way solution.
- Humor and laughter creates HOPE! That’s why it fits during times of sorrow or crisis. There are plenty of examples that show tension being broken with laughter.
And there you have it! Now lead with humor… go… now.