Humor is an asset.
It can be leveraged for a myriad of purposes.
This may sound shallow, insecure, or even manipulative, but here’s my take: In the competitive jungle we work in, why not take every advantage you can get?
Say you’re interviewing for a job and you share a laugh with a potential employer. Good interview, right? Or you get a laugh out of your team during a tough situation. You just gave them a morale boost.
Make a customer laugh; get a sale. Make your coworkers laugh; they like you more. Make your boss laugh; you might be more likely for a promotion? That last one might be a stretch, but you get the point.
The list of ways you can build relationships with humor never ends. It’s an influential tool, as well as a cultural experience that can be shared across diverse social circles. The influence of humor can persuade, earn loyalty, close business, deepen relationships, forge memories, and enrich life.
This is why studying humor, and how to become a funny person yourself is so valuable. It’s not simply for self-gain, but for the enrichment of life and relationships you share.
But in this post, I’m mostly talking about using it for self-gain – so let’s get into it!
Funny People Are Memorable.
For whatever reason, our brains put a massive bookmark in humorous memories. As this article on “The Humor Effect” puts it, humor enhances both verbal and visual memory. It goes on to highlight that humor has the ability to increase both interest and attention in a conversation.
Think about this in the context of sales for a second. Who wouldn’t want to have a more attentive and interested prospect? You’d be crazy not to. Humor in sales creates a more engaging and memorable touchpoint, increasing the likelihood of a sale down the road.
If you are looking to set yourself apart in the workplace, humor will be an invaluable asset. Unless you want to be a comedian, it won’t be the only determining factor for your success. But it will be a powerful force for differentiating you amongst your peers.
You Can’t Fake Humor, So Learn How To Be Funny.
It goes without saying, but you can’t fake humor. People either laugh at something that is funny or don’t laugh when something isn’t funny. It’s also very difficult to turn humor on or off if its apart of your personality. It’s less of a hard skill and more of a social awareness that can be leveraged to extrapolate humor from a normal situation.
You learn humor in the same way you learn anything else: practice. While practicing humor may seem awkward and insincere, it’s quite the opposite. Everyone hates when someone is “trying too hard” to be funny, but they love having an authentically funny person around. So surround yourself with people you trust, and practice! Receive their feedback, however critical it may be.
What are your thoughts? Are there more important skills to practice? Or is it just plain manipulative to use humor for personal gain?
Don’t hold back if you disagree. I’m not opposed to receiving spicy comments on my posts.