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Catching up with Karyn

Lead With Laughter: When Things Don't Go Exactly As Planned

One of the signs that someone is a great leader is that their team isn't afraid to approach them when they need help or support. Murphy's Law touches every industry. There's no workplace that's free of difficulties. The way a leader responds to these difficulties has a direct and profound impact on the morale and collective resilience of the organization.

Some of the most fascinating neurological research out there has to do with the way our bodies react in anticipation to an event. The events we're anticipating can be positive - knowing you're going to meet your funniest friend for a drink after work - or negative - telling your boss that a critical report is way behind schedule.

When we're looking forward to something good, we actually begin to experience some of the pleasure of the event before it even happens. Our blood pressure goes down, our circulation goes up, we feel more energized and emotionally resilient.

When we are looking forward to something bad, we experience some...

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Humor & Home Sales: What's the Connection?

Selling real estate requires a unique combination of skills. Not only must realtors know everything there is to know about the homes they're selling and the neighborhood those homes reside in, they must understand the tangled process of financing a home purchase.

On top of that, they need tremendous people skills, in order to attract buyers, understand what their needs are, identify the best properties for them, and provide support and encouragement through the home buying process.

Humor is one of the most essential - yet seldom discussed - tools the real estate agent has at his or her disposal. The realtor who knows how to use laughter to begin relationships sells more homes.

I saw a great example of this on Twitter this morning (Thanks, @sjsincanada!) There are plenty of people who'd shy away from buying property near a cemetery - blame it on too many late night horror shows or cultural traditions that are uncomfortable with the idea of being too close to the departed - but with a...

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Lead With Laughter: Using Humor To Bring The Best Out of Your Team

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...

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Happy Nurses Week!

Happy Nurses Week!

This week of celebration and recognition is for everyone who's ever been puked on, cursed out and proposed to - all by the same patient!

This week of celebration and recognition is for everyone who's ever had to reassure a heavily-tattooed, multiply pierced individual that they really wouldn't die from the pain of getting a tetanus shot!

This week of celebration and recognition is for everyone who knows that the proper answer to 'When will the doctor be here?' is not "Your guess is as good as mine!"

This week of celebration and recognition is for everyone who responds to the next shift being 20 minutes late by giving report in Pig Latin!

This week of celebration and recognition is for everyone who has physically restrained a colleague from saying the Q word!

What we do as nurses is amazing and amusing. This week, make a point of laughing - with your colleagues or by yourself - as often as you can. You'll be happier, you'll be healthier, and you'll be a better...

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Sinclair School of Nursing Awards Karyn Certificate of Merit

I know I sound like Sally Field when I say, "You like me! You really like me!" but I've got to tell you, that's absolutely how I felt when I got the news that my alma mater - the Sinclair School of Nursing, my beloved Mizzou - has decided to honor me with a Certificate of Merit. Thrilled doesn't even begin to express my emotional state - it's awesome, inspiring, and humbling all at once.

Nursing school changed my life. You walk into those classes thinking you know a little something about health care - and then your eyes are opened to all the amazing, amusing, and yes, awe-inspiring things that nurses do every single day.  The lessons I learned while working on my Master's at Mizzou have served me well, through every day of my nursing career and beyond.

The research I was able to do in those early days, my first tentative explorations into the connection between health and humor, were successful and bore fruit due to the encouragement and support I received at that time....

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5 Fun Things You Can Do To Celebrate National Humor Month

April is National Humor Month - great news if you're interested in finding health & wealth through laughter! Here are five fun ways to celebrate National Humor Month:

1. Movie Night: Host a Comedy Film Festival in your home, devoted to the movies that make you laugh the most. Here's a list of the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Films for some classic laugh.

2. Phone a (Funny!) Friend: Remember the college roommate who could always crack you up? What about the co-worker you loved to laugh with before they moved onto a new job? Keeping your funny friendships alive has serious long term mental and emotional health benefits. A touch base call or email is a simple way to put a smile on both of your faces!

3. Learn Laughter Yoga: Laughter is more than fun - it's exercise! Laughter yoga combines enjoying humor with basic moves to boost your circulation and energy while lowering your blood pressure and stress levels. Here's a simple exercise to get you started.

4. Scavenger Hunt!...

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There Will Never Be Another Show Like This!

Mickey Rooney was a short man - 5' 2" at his tallest - but he was truly one of the giants of comedy. It is very sad that he's left us - although from what I hear, his next booking is on one of the best stages EVER - and I'd like to take this moment to talk about the laughter lessons he taught us all.

Mickey Rooney taught us it was okay to laugh at ourselves. He was a very lovable guy - so lovable that 8 different women married him. 7 of those women later divorced him, and Mickey provided the world with a great example of processing pain through laughter.  His jokes about his many marriages included:

“Always get married in the morning. That way if it doesn't work out, you haven't wasted the whole day.”

“When I say "I do", the Justice of the Peace replies, "I know, I know". I'm the only man in the world whose marriage license reads, "To Whom it May Concern".

It's important to note that there's a difference between laughing at your own behavior and laughing at...

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Humor Resources for Nurses: Cartoons For Caption Contests

Looking for a fun way to boost morale in your health care facility? Caption contests are a great idea. Simply print out one (or more!) of the cartoons below and have your team members come up with their own funny captions. You'll be astonished what the talented (or twisted!) minds of your nursing staff can come up with.

As an incentive, you can offer Prizes of Incredible Value: I've found baked goods and Starbucks work very well indeed. Don't forget to share the best ones on social media: you can tweet them to me @funnynurse!

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15 Fun Things To Do When You're Feeling Down

One of the most amazing things about laughter is how profoundly and immediately it alters our mood. Laughter is not only the best medicine, it's incredibly fast-acting medicine.

That's why I recommend that people create a Fun List of activities, media, and people that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. When you're feeling down for whatever reason, drag out the Fun List and choose one of the options on it. Laughter doesn't solve our problems, but it does make it easier for us to handle those problems.

After speaking at LaughFest (an absolutely awesome event you'll want to add to your calendar every year!) my new friend Dawn asked me to share what's on my own personal Fun List. Here you go - these are the 15 fun things that never fail to put a smile on my face:

  1. Big Bang Theory (sitcom)
  2. David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall (CD/MP3)
  3. Reading Sunday comics
  4. Watching funny movies (Top picks: "In & Out" with Kevin Kline, "When Harry Met Sally" and "Steel Magnolias")
  5. Youtube:...
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When Funny Means Money: How LaughFest Helps Grand Rapid's Bottom Line

Okay, if you're from a community that has no financial worries, or you're in charge of economic development in a town that's already booming, you can skip this post. Everybody else, keep reading! I want to tell you something amazing about the power of humor and how laughter can mean some serious money for your town.

I've just come back from speaking at LaughFest, a great event that began as an offshoot of Gilda's Club (humor for cancer patients) that today promotes the message of humor as a vital part of emotional health for all. This event is really designed with something for everyone. Top tier comedians like Lily Tomlin and Jay Leno were there to entertain the crowds, and there were many, many free or low cost events so everyone could participate and have a good time.

An absolutely amazing legion of volunteers makes this event happen, ensuring that performers made it to and from many venues throughout the city. Performances weren't limited to pricey convention centers. The...

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