Occasionally, someone I work with tells me that I am funny. That’s music to my ears, but truly, I know I am not a comedic genius. I just try for the “give me a smirk,” or if you are under the age of 30, perhaps an eye roll in disbelief of how corny my joke was.
My friend and colleague, humorist Ron Culberson, told me many years ago that having a good sense of humor doesn’t mean that you are funny, but rather that you laugh easily and enjoy laughter. I can get behind that!
Thus, this Ted Talk really spoke to me. The presenter clearly shows how levity and humor at work can make you more likable and more effective. There was one great example from a CEO that made me wonder how Madeleine Albright had a huge bug brooch available to her at just the right moment, well before the days of Amazon and Ebay!
The Ted Talk takes 9:10 minutes to watch. It demonstrates why taking a moment for humor at the beginning of a meeting is worth the time and effort, and how laughter brings people together.
Why Great Leaders Take Humor Seriously
Please share with me how you incorporate humor in your work. And even if you don’t consider yourself funny, I hope you laugh easily and with gusto.
One of the frequent questions that I hear from participants after I have conducted Diversity and Inclusion work in their organization is, “How can I be more supportive of this effort?” Personally, I am always seeking new and effective ways to walk the talk! In June of 2020, our family decided one small thing that we could do would be to order takeout food from more locally-owned Black businesses. On one such occasion, the owner came to our car with our order and asked how we heard about the restaurant. We told him that we had searched for locally-owned Black business owners in celebration of Juneteenth. He seemed quite appreciative as he handed over the yummy meal.
For another outing that summer, we heard about a new business featuring all things cinnamon, and especially its cinnamon rolls — Cinnaholic Gaithersburg. It was great to discover that I could feed my cinnamon addiction while also supporting another locally-owned Black business.
In order to encourage you to support your local community and to celebrate Black History Month, I have compiled a list of ideas below. If you don’t live in the DC metro area, use these ideas to do your own research. You will be glad you did!
Events, performances, sites, and museum exhibits that honor Black history and culture:
Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in Washington, DC
20+ Black Chefs and Black-Owned Restaurants & Bars in Washington, DCAdd These Black-Owned Restaurants in The DMV to Your List in 2022
DMV Black-Owned BusinessesBlack-Owned Businesses in the DMV Area
Black-owned wedding businesses:
7 Black-Owned Businesses That Are Shaping Washington DC Weddings
Black-owned catering businesses:
Get Plated, Sinfully Wright
Black-owned beauty businesses:
26 Black Beauty Brand Founders Changing The Industry
At holiday gatherings, my family of origin played word games (video games hadn’t been invented yet.)
It’s natural, then, that I’d use words to facilitate your fantastic family festivities. Here are a few words related to work, work groups, and celebrations. (Some definitions are taken from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Others, I made up. You’ll know which are which.)
FACILITATE: To aid or make easier. I hope you’ve read something in my newsletters that’s made your job or life easier these past few months.
FACILITATOR: Someone who helps a group reach goals. One way I’d like to work with your team.
FELICITATOR: The person who leads the fun part of a meeting. The way I’d really like to work with your group.
FELIZ NAVIDAD: Good job – you’re right. Merry Christmas, and if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I’d like to wish you a happy Hanukkah, a joyous Kwanzaa, a glorious New Year’s, and a few relaxing days off.
FATIGUE: What happens when you focus on the details instead of the important stuff. May you keep your fatigue to a minimum during the holiday season.
FECUNDITY: Productive or creative power (work groups at their best).
FEEDBACK: One of the greatest gifts we can give to one another, especially when accompanied by respect and caring.
FEELING: Emotion. Also, a sensation received and delivered through touch. (That’s about all I can say to a business audience.)
FELLOW-FEELING: Sympathetic awareness of others. Very helpful in the workplace.
FEIGN: To fake or pretend. Not a constructive thing to do in a team meeting.
FLEXIBILITY: You’re demonstrating yours by reading this. Your co-workers must love you for it.
FOCUS: What it takes to ignore the urgent and accomplish the important.
FUN: Are you having enough? I hope you are, and that you’re putting more of it in your plan for 2022.
FEED, FOOD, FAT: May you have enough to feel full, but not so much you feel foolish.
FRIEND: What my clients become.