A couple of us from Seilevel are representing at Project Summit & BAWorld Boston this week. So in typical form, we’ll be blogging live from BAWorld as the inspiration hits us.
This morning’s keynote talk was by Simon Cotter and it was on “The Power of Humor in the Workplace”. He’s a real estate/sales guy turned standup comedian. Now, I have to admit, it was a bit early in the morning for me to be laughing out loud, but I did find him amusing. It was a creative keynote. Frankly, I tend to find keynotes typically too broad to be applicable or by people who have big names but aren’t necessarily great at presenting. This guy actually kept me engaged for an hour and certainly handled the crowd well. His general point was about how to use humor to develop relationships. If you do that, people simply will want to work with you. And then he had more practical tips about how to do this if you don’t think you are funny – things like using safe jokes, quick wit, self-deprecation, and physical objects.
I completely believe in this concept. You know, I look forward to the funny people coming into the office every day. Who doesn’t love a good laugh? And you don’t have to be an overall comedian, just amusing sharing anecdotes with the crowd can make your coworkers chuckle and bond a little. In our training, we try to add some bits of humor to keep the students awake.
Anyway, there are 2 points I think are important in using humor – keep it appropriate (sexist and racist jokes are off limits) and keep it in check (we are here to get a job done, not just to be funny). Can you think of times where people were relying so heavily on their humor that they keep you from actually getting to the point? You just want to make sure everyone is engaged with your humor and move on to complete the task at hand.
Ok, so I feel like I should end this with a joke. Here goes:
A Business Analyst and a Project Manager walked into a bar….
Ok wait, unfortunately, I got nothing! Feel free to add some funny comments though.