Blog: Is inculcating humor in boardrooms, making them less of a bored room?

Watercooler

Is inculcating humor in boardrooms, making them less of a bored room?

How comedy is changing the way boardrooms (don’t) bore to death?
Is inculcating humor in boardrooms, making them less of a bored room?

Ever wondered why only a couple of hours into an HR induction, half of the audience already seems uninterested? Bygone are the days when employees or clients used to feel hesitant while asking the golden question, ‘when is the meeting ending?’ Most of the boardroom meetings today, end up with participants either exchanging notes with funny conversations or others creating funny creatures on the back of their notepads, mostly of the speaker or their managers. 

The words “meeting” and “fun” are as correlated like cheese and Nutella, get it? 

While this continues, humor at the workplace, especially in a boardroom, is still frowned upon and the one who does so always lives in a fear of being judged or never to be taken seriously. Discouraging it may be, but there are several compelling reasons why a little use of humor can make a workplace happier and more productive. 

But, what are they?

As you'd expect, a work environment which feels fun and cordial to be in is one that will empower cheerful representatives. The mental state of employees is straightforwardly connected with the kind of inspiration they get from the surroundings, so it's to each board member’s advantage to energize high spirit among their folks. On the off chance that a little frivolity smooths that way, it’s a win-win! 

'Laughing is the best medicine', as they state, and it is surely evident that it has been connected with both short and long haul medical advantages. Laughing invigorates the heart and lungs, builds bloodstream around the body and expands endorphins discharged from the cerebrum which makes one feel better. It can likewise build your capacity to adapt to troublesome circumstances or break the ice to keep away a potential clash. 

It's maybe not astounding that the greater part of us feel increasingly good offering a joke to an associate than our manager; the danger of an unrivaled taking your joke the incorrect way is more prominent than somebody with no control over you. In any case, a mutual joke really builds up a shared belief and decreases the impression of the distinction between individuals. Research demonstrates that where somebody is recounting a convincing story, the storyteller and their audience members are reflecting each other's mind examples and cultivating associations that fortify their security. 

Hence, it can be viewed as humor is a powerful tool to create a connection between the content and audience, inside and outside the boardroom. It is, in fact, one of the most authentic forms of communicating as shared laughter implies relatability of an experience which leads to sharing of honest truths without hesitation. One of the finest examples one could give is the after-drinks discussion every group has! The kind of effect that alcohol has at off-sites and the discussions cum stand-up bits it leads to is what every organization needs, but of course without inculcating alcohol.

How comedy is changing the way boardrooms (don’t) bore to death?

When will the bar open?   

This is an inevitable question at most conferences whether the audience is your employees or your clients. It’s been long known and little spoken about the secret. Most conferences often tend to drag with participants there to tick off a box, avoid incurring the wrath of the senior management or engage in card exchange that they hope passes off for networking.  Little attention is paid to the panel discussions, people slipping in and out (of consciousness).  As we move towards a millennial and Gen Z workforce, actually, they are no longer willing to passively comply with entrenched norms unless there is a clear take-way that engages them and creates true value. Most importantly, they are no longer impressed by just 3 letters and CXO titles. They need to be equally impressed by the person behind the tag and whether his/her values and passion inspire their own.

A similar phenomenon plays itself out in the Learning & Development (L&D) workshops and Motivation space as well. All day workshops and motivational talks focused on a top-down information download (and in most cases overload) result in participant fatigue and often carry external celebrity examples e.g. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, that sound great in theory but have little coherence or connection to any practical realities of the actual business. In most cases, it ends up in a tussle between L&D heads trying to tick off boxes for KRAs, and Business Heads complaining about their teams being dragged off from crucial business functions for training/motivation

Among all the talk of TechHR, and engagement “on the cloud” a fundamental reality must not be forgotten.. that even today, deals and true engagement only happens when there is a true human connection between individuals. Ironically enough, in business parlance, transactions only happen when one moves beyond the transactional to establishing a real relationship. Which means it is imperative that organizations move towards sessions and participants who present a true human face and genuinely engage with participants to create a lasting impression. And this lasting impression will only be re-enforced if the content is made relatable and customized to the actual business realities

Humour has long been considered one of the most powerful tools to create this connection. Humor is one of the most honest forms of communication as the laughter comes from the relatability of a shared experience and the open sharing of the honest truths which are otherwise not acknowledged in public. Case in point is a stand-up bit we do about alcohol at off-sites which always results in a huge round of laughter and applause as everyone acknowledges the shared reality including the senior most executives in the most conservative organizations. Or a bit on the challenge of going to a networking event only to find other salespersons of your kind instead of clients. And when people across hierarchies and divisions laugh at the same jokes, it helps to dispel the barriers and create a shared experience between an audience that otherwise only knows each other through email CCs. 

Topics: Watercooler

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