Starting Strong & Building Rapport.
Comedians start by 'getting into the room'. They make a joke about the venue, the lighting, the way the room is set out, anything to demonstrate they have noticed where they are and who they are with. They often throw in a compliment about the audience as well to show they are happy to be there. This technique is used to let the audience know that this is a shared experience. The good news is, to get the benefits it doesn't even need to be funny. Managers and leaders have a big impact on how employees feel. And if they can demonstrate that they are pleased to be there and present, it is a very strong start. I had a very different experience in a meeting this morning, where the leader arrived 10 minutes late, stressed and distracted. It left me feeling like my work is not that important to him. Over time, if it keeps happening, it can have a really negative impact on engagement.
Transfer of Positive Emotions.
How often do you think about how you want your team to feel when you speak to them? Comedians use emotion to get their audience to feel a certain way. And yet we all do this, every time we speak with people, often we aren't even conscious of it and rarely we decide in advance. Hence sometimes, without even realising, we transfer our own negative emotions to our team. By tuning into your own mood and emotional state, you can uncover a hidden super power for making your team feel happy, trusted, respected, whatever you decide you want them to feel. And on those days were you just can't get out of a stressed or bad mood, if you tell them you aren't in a good state, then they are less likely to spend the day wondering what they've done to upset you.
Using humour and laughter.
Laughter brings people together. As a senior leader it also makes you more human, more likeable and more approachable. The good news is you don’t have be become a comedian to add humour into your leadership style. Most comedy and laughter comes from being relaxed and ‘in the moment’. Most people rarely plan a joke or a funny line, it just seems to come from nowhere. And a team that gets used to laughing together, shows they feel safe together, have stronger working relationships and feel more engaged.
Find out about our How to Boost Employee Engagement using humour, laughter and comedy.