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Funny Comes in Many Forms: The Humor Constellation

Uncategorized Oct 04, 2019


Recently, I discussed the importance of implementing humor as a core value in your corporate culture (TL;DR: an organization that laughs together stays together). But before you can add a little funny business to your serious business, you have to understand how to see the funny to properly leverage it.

Humor has the ability to strengthen bonds and completely shift the mood of your environment. And the best part? Anybody can learn how to implement it! Just as I’ve developed my sense of humor over the years, so can you. With a little practice, your whole team can understand how to see the array of hilarity at their fingertips. In appreciating the many humor styles surrounding you, your organization can take the first step toward becoming a place of collaboration, productivity and, of course, joy!

So, what are these “many humor styles” of which I speak, and under which one do you fall? Let’s take a look!

The Many Faces of Humor

Maybe you already consider yourself to be a riot. You’re the life of the party, and you’re always cracking jokes. That’s great! Now, let’s take it a step further. Not everybody in your organization has the same sense of humor. You may be an expert jokester, but your colleague is more fluent in sarcasm. How do you bridge the gap between your different styles to better recognize and leverage them in your organization?

I give you: The Humor Constellation!

This chart is an excellent resource for understanding your particular “brand” of humor, as well as identifying the types of humor with which you’re a little less comfortable. Once you pinpoint your authentic sense of humor, you can use it as a starting point for creating a more lighthearted, and productive, workplace. After all, authenticity is fundamental to implementing High Performance Humor.

Branch Out

So, you’ve identified and improved upon your unique sense of humor. But you know what they say: life begins at the end of your comfort zone. You can’t stop now! Next, I challenge you to choose a couple types of humor that are unfamiliar to you and work on them. You’ll probably flop a few times (it’s ok — embrace it!), but before you know it, you’ll be an expert jokester and fluent in sarcasm. Developing both your humor strengths and weaknesses is essential to connecting with your colleagues and crafting a corporate culture in which everyone thrives.

Connect with me!

YouTube: Karyn Buxman
Twitter: @KarynBuxman
Facebook: Karyn Buxman Speaks
LinkedIn: Karyn Buxman

Karyn Buxman is a TEDx speaker, author, and neurohumorist (one who researches the neurobiology of humor) who lives at the intersection of humor and the brain. A pioneer in the emerging science of applied humor, Karyn helps high performers expand their influence, strengthen their relationships, and boost their resilience. She’s one of only 45 women in the world to be inducted into the National Speakers Association's Speaker Hall of Fame, and she has inspired over 500 organizations – including NASA and the Million Dollar Round Table– to add a dose of levity to their daily lives.




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