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5 Ways to get your team laughing

With International Happiness at Work Week coming up in September, here are some simple ideas for getting your team laughing

5 Ways to inject more fun into your workplace .. this week and every week.

Idea 1: Laugh more yourself, especially if you are manager or leader. People get self-conscious about laughing, especially in a professional workplace. The more you laugh, the more it signals that laughter is ok and encourages the people around you to laugh more.

Idea 2: Yes, And …

Yes, And is a great improv tool .. You take an idea, any idea and each team member builds on the idea by saying: Yes, And.

For example, if I said, today is a really good Tuesday, Yes, And, its especially good because I saw an elephant this morning, Yes, And the elephant stood on my bicycle, Yes And the bicycle now only goes left, Yes, And that is why today I am working on a roundabout.

It only takes a minute, but often when we say the first thing that comes into our brain, it can be just as much a surprise to you as it is to everyone else. And something weird and unusual always comes out. And that is where the laughter comes from .. the unexpected!

The Yes, And principle can also be used to build on serious ideas. It helps team to identify and strengthen ideas and not lose them because the contributor was shut down too early.

Yes, And

Idea 3: Having fun with small things like team identity, for example the name of your weekly team meetings. We worked with a lady who’s title was Chief of Staff. She encouraged her team to play around with some of their meetings. They now have a weekly pow wow, chief briefs .. you get the idea!
This one isn’t right for every organisation, but this team felt far more engaged when looking in their calendar!

Yes, And

Idea 4: Introducing fun awards .. ideally not related to work, but awards that encourage the laughter and the fun to continue.
Such as loudest laugh award, weirdest word award, funniest greeting .. the idea is for the team to create their own funny awards.
As adults we can find ourselves being serious all the time. These awards are encouraging us to have a bit more fun, lighten up and relax, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.

Yes, And

Idea 5: Half life is another improv game that has some serious benefits.

2 people tell a story together in 2 minutes. Someone has a timer. The rest of the team decide who the characters are, where they are etc.

And then they re-tell the same story, in 1 minute, and again in 30 seconds, and then again in 15 seconds.

Doesn’t sound that funny, but when people have to make up a story it usually ends up with lots of laughs. And this is a powerful technique to use to punch up presentations and get to the point in meetings.

All this larking around, get back to work! Don’t be too worried that all this time spent having fun will mean less work gets done. It might feel that way, but laughter reduces stress, helps improve team work and boosts productivity*.

So having a laugh can have a serious impact on productivity.

*A Warwick University study showed that laughter boosts productivity by 12%

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