Humans At Work with Michael Glazer

#84: Using Humor At Work

As they say, laughter is the best medicine, and it's also a powerful tool in the workplace. In this episode, Paul Boross, author of “Humourology: The Serious Business of Humour At Work” and a leading business consultant, comedian, and keynote speaker, discusses the role of humor in improving relationships, trust, team performance, and leadership effectiveness. Paul shares how humor can create a positive work environment and help teams navigate challenges and changes. Plus, he offers tips on how to develop and use humor effectively in common business situations.

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Episode Highlights

2:07 What is humourology?

3:52 The value of laughter in the workplace

4:46 Why people don't choose humor more often at work

6:06 Subtle difference: laughing with someone vs. laughing at someone

8:37 Is there a mindset to using humor?

9:52 Balancing humor and being offensive

12:09 Advice on using humor in written communications

13:38 Using humor to improve relationship quality

18:14 Why icebreakers are unnecessary

25:56 Using the power of humor to navigate uncertainty

27:42 Truth as fuel for humor

Paul’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

"Finding a culture that works for everyone. I suppose you'll no doubt heard the phrase, the war for talent, which is based on the idea that smart people are out there, but not within your organization already, and that employees have to compete for the best people. Often this results in employees creating these cool trendy workplaces which look impressive, but which can hide toxic work practices.

If you're trying to build a business, it's not just about putting a ping pong table on the side or, or have funny pictures on the wall with with funny phrases. It's about creating an environment where someone comes to work thinking, I really want to see [my colleagues], because they're all good people, and we work well together and get the job done. Humor unites those people. And I think that's what's unmet. [It] is that humor that creates the humanity and allowing that to prosper."

What “working with humans” means to Paul

“I go back to the attitude of gratitude. Working with humans, means properly understanding humor. Understanding that humor is essential [because] it lubricates human relations, and therefore, humor is the essence of everything.”


Follow: Paul on LinkedIn

Visit: Paul's website

Read: Humourology: The serious business of humour at work

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