Humor – Good For The Soul AND For Your Business!

There’s no doubt about it – humor is definitely good for the soul.

In fact, studies have been showing that a healthy daily dose of hearty laughter in your life will do wonders for your physical health and mental health, too! Laughing puts us in a positive mood, gives us a fresh perspective, and can even burn calories!

Did you know that humor and laughter even have a place in the workforce?

I appreciate a good dose of humor in places of business. It can calm down a nervous customer, bring a customer out of a negative or depressed mood, and it can easily keep your customers coming back for more.

For example, during a lengthy hospitalization, my dad was having a problem with persistently low blood pressure. For two nights, we had struggled to keep it over 75.

One night the nurse came into his room and said, “Mr. Johnson, I just don’t know what I am going to do with you. You know, we really need to get this blood pressure up. If we can’t, I’m going to have to do something drastic.” Everyone in the room froze. She then said, “If we can’t get it any higher, I’m just going to have to show you your hospital bill. I know that will definitely get it up!” We all laughed, even my Dad, and we felt the first sense of relief since he’d been admitted.

There is room for humor in almost every industry, in most situations. Humor helps create an atmosphere of comfort, familiarity, and friendship. All of these elements are necessary for a successful business relationship with your customers.

Here’s another example of humor in the workplace – one local construction company gives a fortune cookie to each of their customers, but instead of the typical fortune or saying, inside the cookie is a joke. The company rep whom I spoke with said that their own workers never hesitate to ask, “Aren’t you going to give me MY fortune cookie? I could use a good laugh, too!”

You can easily keep your customers coming back to you when you use humor in your business dealings with them. The key to success is to balance expectations with humor.

For example, if something goes wrong (maybe your customer’s order got mixed up or you accidentally tripped and wound up dropping the fresh baked goods your customer wanted), humor can help dispel the dissatisfaction and can help your customers let go of their woes and bring them into the present moment. Remember, laughter gives our brains a rush of feel-good endorphins!

Humor establishes rapport. Think about it – pretty much everyone loves a good laugh. Non-offensive, easy-going jokes can easily establish likeability and trust with a potential client. A joke related to a difficult situation can help disarm deliver “tough medicine” to a client (very much like the hospital experience with my dad that I mentioned above).

But be careful when you use humor in your workplace! Certain types of humor aren’t always appreciated (for example: sarcasm).

When you start a new relationship with a new customer, try using light humor or humor geared toward an existing situation. Veer away from jokes about politics or anything that could easily offend people (jokes about religion, “dirty” jokes, etc.). Gage how your customer reacts to your jokes, and try to take their reactions as a guide for your progress. Remember to do all that you can to make your customers fell as comfortable as possible so that they’ll come back to do business with you in the future!

What humor can you bring to your company?