Humour is a really simple, yet effective tool that many people and leaders seldom use, surprisingly. There really are incredible benefits to using humour when communicating with others. It cuts tension and helps people be at ease by creates a bit of laughter. It’s why we always remember funny commercials and those are the ones that typically sell well, compared to the informative ones.
It’s funny how some people have convinced themselves that they aren’t funny people because don’t have a ‘funny bone’. That’s right!!!…Because we ALL KNOW bones are the part of the human body that produces vitamin F (for Funny). The reality is, humour only requires an open mind. Having that ensures you are able to build and strengthen their sense of humour.
As a leader or entrepreneur, you cannot afford not to use this advantage to your benefit. Communicating with humour doesn’t just help sell an idea, or influence a better reaction to a plan; it also makes it easier for the listener to stay engaged with the speaker. The secret is that humour opens up our ability to ‘relate’ – With people and with topics.
As human beings, we like feeling good. Humour builds relationships very easily because as I mentioned, it helps us feel good about the messenger. We also want to feel connected as human beings. So feeling good with others amplifies what is being communicated. That’s why laughing together feels better than laughing by yourself.
We are hardwired in our human physiology to relate this feeling to the person, which (for better or worse) helps the person seem more credible and trustworthy. Making communications more humourous is easy because humour, like confidence and charisma, is an inherent sense born within all of us.It certainly doesn’t come from bones! This is most evident in babies from the day they are born and open their eyes. Babies are always full of life and while they cry a lot, they are fully capable of laughing at the simplest things without attending a class or consciously understanding what an open mind is.
The difference is simply that as some of us grow, we learn how to suppress this natural ability. Whatever the reason you had before for hiding your brilliance, or in this case ‘humour’, you must learn to now ‘de-program’ that old behavior and allow it this new behaviour to become your advantage.
REMOVE LIMITING BELIEFS
Fear or embarrassment? Fear of rejection? Fear of Failure? Our good friend, mentor, and foremost expert on charisma, Owen Fitzpatrick, often refers to these three as the enemies of charisma. It’s why most people hesitate to even try to tell a joke! Here is how you overcome them:
PUNISHMENT OR PUN-IS-MEANT?
One of the simplest tips I have learned to start building that bridge of humour and relationship with others is so simple and small, it’s positively ‘pun-y’. A pun here and there lightens the atmosphere with even the weakest delivery. Of course, I do advise moderation as abusing it will make you an absolute nightmare!
However, it is a win-win in most situations because even if people don’t laugh or smile, you are putting in the effort to help people feel good or be lightened up by the attempt. It’s as the saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts” and it is so true especially in those awkward social moments.
Even for those who groan at puns, in their minds they are secretly entertained because in their minds, it satisfies a mental connection. This is proven because they understand the relationship or connection in the pun. At the very least, their brain recognises the shared ability you both have to see the connection. It’s very elementary, but remarkably affective.
This by no means implies you should use humour every time with everyone. There’s always context to think about. Also some jokes aren’t delivered well or simply aren’t funny for a number of other reasons. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work or you should stop trying entirely. Humour isn’t everything by itself just as leaders aren’t leaders without the cooperation of others. Leading others simply by barking orders all the time earn neither trust nor loyalty. However, using humour together with your leadership approaches will get you more than just cooperation, it will build stronger relationships.
For other useful tips and other life changing ideas, please read our other blogs and learn the #AuthenticNLP™ with NaviGo® NLP Center.