One of the biggest challenges leaders face is inspiring their team to turn in a top-notch performance all of the time. Motivating people to be creative problem solvers who keep a steady focus on delivering superior customer service is hard work.
If you're really lucky, you'll have some people who are intrinsically motivated to continually come up with original, useful ideas. If you're not so lucky, your role is to create a workplace culture that serves as an external motivation conducive to top performance.
That's where laughter comes in. The use of humor by leadership accomplishes several things in the workplace:
Lowers Barriers Between Team Members:
This makes free and easy communication - essential for creative collaboration, plan development and implementation.
Acts As a Form of Permission:
Sometimes it's the funny, offbeat, or ridiculous idea that can be the real game changer for your business. In an environment where laughter is an acceptable response, it's easier to offer up ideas that are 'out there'. Being laughed at isn't viewed as a catastrophic career-ender; it's just a normal part of the creative process. Remove the fear of failure from the equation, and you'll get better results from your team.
If you'd asked your team who is the laziest member, how many people would eagerly volunteer to claim that role? Yet as we can see from the Bill Gates quote, "I always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because he will find an easy way to do it," a change in perspective can help us recognize the strengths in our team members we might otherwise never notice. We have to know what our team's strengths are before we can use them effectively!