Laugh Your Way to a Happy Workplace

We are drawn to funny people. Researchers have discovered that humor is attractive not just in romantic partners, but in business partners and politicians as well because it is a sign of cognitive fitness. Your brain must be flexible and sharp to create humor. Being funny is a marker of someone’s ability to add vantage points.

Related: Use Your ‘Humor Being’ to Be a Better Human Being

Everything from leadership to productivity can be dramatically improved by adding vantage points through humor. But what is it that causes people to find humor in some situations when others don’t? Positive genius. Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson’s broaden-and-build theory suggests experiencing positive emotions expands people’s ability to use their intellectual resources productively. Your perception of reality determines your actions: If you see a path to a positive reality, your brain will be quicker to see humor in the negative events of your external world. Thus when you have a negative work environment, you can use humor as a strategic tool to help others see a more positive reality.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a stand-up comedian to use humor to foster positivity; you don’t even need to be the one making the jokes. You merely need to share or laugh at them.

PRO TIP: Make a list of funny lines from your favorite movies, books or TV shows and borrow those.

Related: 4 Ways to Laugh More


This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.


Shawn Achor is a Harvard-trained researcher and best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness. Get a daily dose of happy at Shawn's Facebook page.

Leave a Comment