The Indicator from Planet Money - The Power of Humor

Everyone enjoys a good laugh, but could humor be the secret to success in the workplace?

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Content Keywords: corporation indicator science
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NPR

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This is the indicator from Planet Money. I'm Patty Hirsch. I'm joined by Stacey Vanek Smith. Of course, we'd like to have a bit of a laugh here on the indicator when you say

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like a laugh agree

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We don't take our job seriously, but we do believe that a little levity is actually a helpful thing kind of part of our brand. I mean, you know, it's the Dismal science and

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How do you make it a little less this month? That is true. But you know, we might not feel that way if we were say a legal company or an accounting company or customers might not appreciate the fact that we're having a bit of a giggle when were involved in such I'm using quotation marks. He is serious business.

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impractical Jo

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I would have thought but it turns out that Jennifer Walker and Naomi Buck Jonas don't agree with this necessarily they both teach at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and they just come out with a book called humor seriously, and their humor, seriously. Okay, we going to talk to them about the value of humor in the corporate workplace after the break seriously.

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Jennifer Walker and Naomi by Jonas are a professor and lecturer respectively at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. They just written a book called Schumer. Seriously. So Jennifer when we stop by but why don't you start by telling me the value of humor in the workplace first and Leadership when people use humor at work, they are 23% more respected and more confident. It doesn't even need to be good humor just not inappropriate Humor Bar is so low and for employee retention and please to read their bosses of having a sense of humor any sense of humor. Do you report to be 15% more satisfied and engaged in their jobs and even in seals stage show that people pay on average 18% more if the seller include a light-hearted line as part of their final offer like, you know, my final offer is X and I'll throw in my pet frog

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Again, cuz she doesn't have to be good and just focus on anything. So what do you think is the cost of not using humor if your recuperation creativity it also reduces engagement and retention. So the costs are significant. I was thinking to myself as I read this book if I was a corporation or a senior manager in a corporation and I was thinking and I was I was wondering what the return on investment might be touched on a couple of things creativity better relationships with clients productivity. Is there any other are there any of the things that you could think of that would provide a decent return on investment for an investment in human for companies selling products you want more for Muscat will give you another one will give you the help that the the cost of a health mental well-being and physical well-being.

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Warmest fur companies and humor actually makes you not only healthier it makes you live longer. So 1 large-scale Norwegian study conducted over the course of 15 years found that people with a sense of humor have a 30% better chance of survival is severe disease strikes and they live 8 years longer. So laughter literally makes us more physical your wisdom which has bottom line effects for companies that so many people in my career my careers. In fact, if you are just not fans of humor that like look I just want to do my job get paid and go home. How do you do if you were a manager? How do you deal with someone who has that kind of vibe and feeling like that advice the former CEO of Twitter dick says if you want to have more humor at work don't tell jokes. Don't try to be funny. Just look for more reasons to laugh. It's this idea of actually

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Being Human not about being humorous and this is the reality is right now that this is more important than ever because you know, our work is much more technology mediated and therefore are the harder it is to be to bring out our community and a sense of humor at work. We subconsciously adapt to our medium and when we're constantly communicating through technology, it's easy to sound like a robot. So it's it's more really anyway, it's more by a sense of humor than being funny absolutely looking for moments to laugh generously and the entire texture of life changes when you're able to live this way and another for someone else and especially if you're having trouble finding it in your own life right now just look to create a little moment for someone and it can be a really small gesture not a joke, but you know

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Changing your virtual background to a picture from a fun shared experience or leaving a nice post it on your fridge for the person that you cohabitate with its focus on creating joy for someone else helps take the pressure off. You know, I need to be funny. I need to look funny myself and it's more about how can I focus on someone else and Elevate them to tell us a joke. It's actually not really that much of a joke. Somebody wants told me that Schumer is a bit like cocaine like a lot of people enjoy it some people get very rich from it, but couldn't get can get you into serious trouble. Right and this seems particularly pertinent in the workplace my weather seem to be so many third rails of discussion. So it seems like a smart person would leave humor behind when going into work, you know, just to be safe.

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Humor and cocaine in which you can think about how you temper humor or use humor and wave especially in new environment for you don't know each other or are there is no power asymmetry that you can offset these these wrist and this is really important because you know, for example derogatory humor can perpetuate Prejudice and impact behavior is by those with prejudice used. So, you know, for example never making a person's identity the target of your joke is is one sort of small small tip. Yeah. I see what their tips that we hear from comedians number one don't punch down so never make fun of someone who's lower in status or lower in the ranks from your position of Power number to contact switching. So obviously what works at the dinner table isn't always going to work, you know around your office table. So really taking a moment saying hold on a minute. Yes, I would say this in front of friends, but I'm

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Android really important understand all humor is not creepy. I'll humor cannot be delivered by everyone and land in the same way Jennifer Walker a name of a Donuts from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. They both written a book called humor. Seriously. Thank you very much for joining me today to buy Dave Blanchard and Sean saldania was fact-checked by Sam Tsui. The indicator is a production of NPR.

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