Using Humor to Lead and Inspire with Nick Arnette
With a unique blend of motivation and humor, Nick Arnette has a perfect blend of speaking style and message; using his trademark comedy, he shows how keeping a positive attitude and working as a team, coupled with retaining a sense of humor, can enhance your life both personally and professionally.
SPEAKING.COM: What do you think are the most important benefits of laughter?
ARNETTE: It’s a fact that laughter reduces stress, boosts the immune system, and makes people more productive in their jobs. On top of that, it just feels so good to laugh!
SPEAKING.COM: What gave you the idea to blend comedy with motivational speaking?
ARNETTE: People are more open to hearing new ideas when they are in a good mood. It’s good to give people a little humor break from all the facts and figures so that they can relax and laugh a bit. Then they are ready to hear some motivational ideas.
SPEAKING.COM: How can humor be used to motivate people?
ARNETTE: Humor is another way of saying something serious. You will get more out of people with humor than with heavy handedness; moreover, the quality of work they produce will be better when they are managed with humor along with other positive management techniques.
SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the ways humor can be used to facilitate teamwork?
ARNETTE: Team leaders set the tone for the team. There’s usually some amount of stress when trying to come together as a team. Humor is an excellent bonding tool. It’s been said that the shortest distance between two people is a good laugh!
SPEAKING.COM: Why do you think humor is so effective in helping people cope with change?
ARNETTE: Change is rarely easy, but it’s inevitable and never-ending. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. In other words, if you can laugh about it, you can talk about it.
SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the challenges of using humor/comedy to improve the workplace?
ARNETTE: Great question. I really want people to get this: a little humor goes a long way. When I talk about humor in the workplace, I don’t mean turning the work environment into a comedy club. I’m saying humor should be welcome as an integral part of the work environment.
When using humor in the workplace, it must be appropriate. You have to be extra careful about saying things that can be misconstrued as offensive. Your co-workers may laugh along with you, but later on, what you said or did can come back to haunt you. We live in an era of political correctness, and like it or not, it’s here to stay
Sarcastic humor never has a place in the work environment. It puts the other person on the defensive and is counterproductive. Also, you need to know when to quit. Here’s a good rule of thumb: there’s too much humor in the workplace when the humor turns into goofing off.
SPEAKING.COM: What is the most important element that humor can add to the workplace?
ARNETTE: I think it creates a lighter work environment. We are all working harder than ever. A little levity does a lot to get us through a tough day.
SPEAKING.COM: How can humor be used to improve effective leadership?
ARNETTE: Humor is an excellent leadership tool. Good leaders use humor to their advantage. We see politicians using humor more than ever, hopefully intentionally! When the boss laughs, everyone laughs. Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines, said it best, “It’s what you do that defines you as a leader, not how you appear.” He valued and encouraged humor in the workplace, and I’d say it’s worked out pretty well for Southwest Airlines.
SPEAKING.COM: Where are some ways people can keep a positive attitude in the workplace?
ARNETTE: When someone or something upsets you, ask yourself three questions: 1) What part of this can I do nothing about? 2) What part of this can I do something about? 3) How can I keep these negative thoughts going and get myself even more upset…and what will that accomplish?
In other words, be in charge of your thoughts and actions. Be active, not reactive. Never let anyone or anything determine what kind of a day you’re going to have or what kind of person you’re going to be.
SPEAKING.COM: What if I’m not funny? How can I use humor in the workplace?
ARNETTE: Anyone can use humor in the workplace. The easiest thing to do is let other things be funny for you. Clip a cartoon or share one you found on the Internet. Share a funny story about something that happened to you. Take a trip down memory lane and talk about the things you used to do when you were a kid. Talk about the funny things your kids tell you. Put some funny cartoon books in the waiting area or break room. Put a funny calendar on your desk. Make a funny theme song for your office. You can even Google jokes about any subject you want. The list goes on and on. I must stress, you only want to use appropriate and non-offensive humor.
To bring Nick Arnette to your organization to show you how to use humor to inspire and motivate your team, please contact Michael Frick at: Mike@Speaking.com.
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