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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lisa Gonzales

A Coffee Break of Inspirational Leadership: Let's Laugh More

I've always felt the phase, "laughter is the best medicine," was kind of dumb. But having visited hospital rooms of friends, I get it.

Having been a middle school teacher (yes, there is a special place in heaven for me), I know the importance of finding laughter with students and the learning that comes with it, especially when said laughter is not at the expense of someone else.

When we laugh, we relax. We take things a little lighter. We're less on edge. And when we laugh, we equate the task at hand as a little more enjoyable. That works for students in classrooms, it works for teachers, and it is especially effective with leaders.

When we laugh, we retain more information. Bonus! That's because laughter and jokes create moments of cognitive dissonance that aid in retention. We remember better.

Sometimes laughter makes us a little more vulnerable which, as leaders, also makes us appear a little more human. And if we can laugh naturally at ourselves, even better. But that vulnerability and exposure makes us a little easier to relate to, and in that vein, we can bring the laughter (as appropriate) into meetings to better move forward the work. Are you buying it yet?

If not, let's take it a little further....laughter helps us feel safer on the teams that we work on, provided there are certain norms in place. I'm not suggesting that laughter be used to harm or ridicule, as nothing can destroy trust quicker than that. We feel more comfortable taking risks when we have a group of people who can laugh, share, learn, trust and let their guard down a little.

Setting up a climate like that is an entirely different blog topic, but the inroads made through laughter - winner!

This week's article is a direct connection to today's theme. Fast Company has written many articles about laughter, but this one from August takes the cake. From creativity to productivity, laughter is a sign of a good culture.

Take a look and read it HERE.

I love watching Ellen Degeneres because, most of the time, she is funny. In 2014, she did a monologue about laughter and the advantages to your body.

Come's just 3 and a half minutes. Give it a shot! (and feel free to lower the sound on the laughter section)

* Share it.

Can you print these and share them? Notes to colleagues on key topics like risk-taking and resilience can make a difference. Print in color on cardstock …. practically free! Here are a couple to consider…. and to give frequently. It’s up to us to remind others that it really is important to laugh. Often.

Now go slay yet another week!

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