Leadership Trait Humor: Why and How to Build It

When leading a team, having a good sense of humor is vital. We put so much effort into making our consumers happy; they’ll remember us for it!

Also, humor may help break up a stressful atmosphere or spice up a dull agenda. In addition, it promotes a sense of community and results in a more enjoyable meeting or working atmosphere.

What is humor?

Humor is the ability to find things funny, the way some things make people laugh, or the quality of being funny.

Famous leaders who had humor

The following is a list of notable leaders known for their sense of humor.

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy’s gutter-posh Brahmin dialect made his jokes unintelligible to the common American. His most hilarious moment was when he triumphantly declared, “Du…Du hast..Du hast mich… Your kids will enjoy it, however.

Abraham Lincoln

Even his enemies can’t refute Abraham’s humor since he’s our most aware president in a criminally ignorant world. His impressions were also praised. He mimicked Jimmy Fallon and the Police Academy man. Honest Abe was probably the funniest president of all time.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

We all remember when we first heard Franklin D. Roosevelt’s quip, “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” A funny Dada joke without a punchline. FDR was always funny.

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was shown to be three children standing on each other’s shoulders. This explains jelly beans, Star Wars, and astrology-based politics. The three kids playing “Reagan” were funny, selling missiles to Iran, promoting Reaganomics (lol), and denying AIDS.

Theodore Roosevelt

Most historians find him humorous because of his toothy smile, goofy speech, and bawdy war sex. His famous joke about a detractor being a “circumcised skunk” was killed back in the day.

The importance of humor in leadership

Being hilarious is healthy. Humor is your mind’s immune system. When exposed to unpleasant stimuli, people at risk for depression go into depressed episodes, and relapse becomes simpler later.

Reframing a bad situation as hilarious prevents it from starting a depressed episode. But there is more to it.

Leaders have fun at work by using humor

Humor is a part of being a leader that helps people enjoy their work more. When a leader uses humor as part of their leadership skills, it helps them build stronger relationships, makes them more likable, and makes their team happier at work.

Humor also makes status differences less noticeable and can ease some tensions so that everyone can enjoy their work more.

Leaders use humor to gauge a group’s priorities and behavior

As part of their leadership skills, leaders use humor to learn more about a group’s norms and values. People’s ideas of what’s funny change over time, depending on who they are and where they live.

For example, people’s views on what is acceptable and what is not may be revealed by looking at how they express themselves via their sense of humor. To get to know their staff better, bosses might utilize humor.

Humor shows confidence and emotional intelligence

As part of their leadership skills, leaders use humor to show their team that they are confident and emotionally smart (and all external followers).

When a leader uses humor as part of their leadership style, it shows that they are in charge enough to put humor and happiness first. Think about it this way: if your team leader was too busy to smile once a day, would you think the company is doing well?

Leaders use humor as one of their leadership skills to reassure their team that they have enough confidence, control, and time to handle stressful situations at work.

Humor is memorable

Leaders use humor to make themselves more memorable (and not tuned out or forgotten). Researchers have found that a sense of humor is the most important thing that employees notice about their bosses.

People remember leaders who use humor longer because they are more likely to remember things that happened in the past when they smiled or laughed.

Humor helps to connect with people

As part of their leadership skills, leaders use humor to make themselves seem more real to other people. This is called the Pratfall Effect. The Pratfall Effect is a theory about why we tend to stay away from people who seem to be perfect.

We are much more attracted to smart people who seem to have a small flaw that we can relate to. So, a worker who works hard every day will feel more connected to a leader who uses light humor at work.

How to build humor

Some might say that people are born with a sense of humor. You can’t learn it. But if that’s the case, how would you explain why kids need to learn jokes, especially wordplay?

Since learning about humor is part of developing and learning a language, it makes sense that a person’s sense of humor can improve as they get older. Here are some tips to help you make people laugh.

Learn what to say when someone cracks a joke

Some people don’t laugh when they’re amused, making people think they don’t have a sense of humor. Try to laugh or smile when something makes you laugh, but don’t try too hard. If you don’t feel like smiling, you can say, “That’s funny.”

Learn how to talk. If you know what the joke is about, you can try to make a similar joke back. This is a common way to show friendliness or flirt with someone.

Learn to take a joke

If you find it easy to get upset or angry, you might want to work on your sense of humor. If someone makes fun of you, try to make fun of them back instead of getting angry.

If you’re not sure if someone is making fun of you, ask yourself, “Is it likely that this person wants to make me angry? Are they just as likely to be trying to be nice?” If you’re not sure, you can always ask.

If something meant to be friendly makes you feel bad, try to figure out why. Humor can help you find fears and insecurities that you didn’t know you had.

You don’t have to act like a joke is funny if it makes you feel bad. Everyone is sensitive, and everyone has moments when they feel sensitive. If you are being teased repeatedly in a way that hurts you, tell the person that you don’t like it and want it to stop.

Joke about things you’ve both done

Most humor in conversation is about things that everyone can relate to, like the weather or the amount of work. Jokes about things people have in common don’t have to be very funny.

Their main purpose is to make people feel more connected. Say it’s a good day for a picnic if it’s snowing outside.

Be kind and careful when you joke

Jokes about people you know shouldn’t make that person look bad. If you are making fun of a friend you both know, try to make a joke about something good about that person instead of something bad.

Say that you set your watch to a coworker who is always on time. Tell your child that if they write a good paper for school, they will soon be teachers. Don’t make jokes about how other people look, even if you think it’s funny.

The way looks are judged is always influenced by race, class, and gender. Joking about someone’s eyes is likely to make them feel bad, and it may look like you’re trying to gain power over them.

Watch a lot of comedy

Watch comedies and stand-up videos to find your favorite comedy. If videos don’t make you laugh, try comedian recordings and comedians. You may react better to written words than voices or pictures than face emotions.

Most people don’t find comedies hilarious, so keep looking. Maria Bamford is the anti-Adam Sandler. If you can’t locate a comic or humor you like, seek work by individuals like you.

Final verdict

Since you were born, you’ve been getting funnier and funnier. It has grown along with everything you know and is shaped by how you were raised.

"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive."
Elbert Hubbard

You might find the same things funny as your parents, and you might find it hard to understand humor outside of your family and social circle. Even in your own family, you probably won’t understand every joke.

You might need more information to understand some jokes or your sense of humor might come out differently than others. Having a good sense of humor can help you connect with your team and make it easier for yourself as a leader.

About the Author
Hi there, I'm James, founder of Melbado. I have over 20 years of experience as a leader and entrepreneur. Recently, I turned to leadership coaching and writing to pass on my knowledge to the next generation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me via our contact page.


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