The ability to introduce humor appropriately in business conversation is an ability greatly underestimated. There are two primary reasons for this:
People confuse ‘ comedy ‘ ‘ humour ‘; so believe adding humor to an interaction of business requires them to act as a comedian. And they think that if they get it wrong they look at you like a clown.
People underestimate the power of intelligent humor used; and, therefore, are less willing to make the effort to apply it. Believe it is inappropriate or, worse, disrespectful to try to be funny in a business conversation.
Using humor does not mean make a poor representation of your favorite comedian … for the sake of your customer-please don’t do it! Humor (especially business humor) and the play completely different purposes. There is comedy for laughs-sometimes drunk people. If you don’t laugh and fails. Humor is used as a business you could use soy sauce or chili-is the seasoning, not the meal.
In a business setting humor can serve many purposes:
To lighten the moment — giving a tough message with a soft touch
To focus the interaction on your personal connection (rather than business)
To make more interesting communication
To draw attention to a particular point
To evaluate a customer’s feelings on a particular point
To make a client more open to new concepts
This might seem an ambitious list, but properly applied humor is able to achieve all these.
The last two are probably the most powerful. Comedian John Cleese is also a great observer of human behavior. He said, “if I can make you laugh, like me better, which means that they are more open to my ideas. If I can make you laugh at a particular point dealing, laughing, you acknowledge the truth. ” For example, your product is the most reliable-and expensive-in the market. To measure how well this reliability is perceived by the customer, you might say, “it is a disadvantage of the product is not to generate the same number of service calls as some of the other brands!” Follow with a smile and eye contact and watch for their reaction. It will probably be a wry smile, maybe a nod of agreement. Your goal is not to get a belly laugh. In a little laugh of humor, smile or nod is all you need to know it’s served its purpose.
This works in the business because the core of humor all is truth and what is being done is to reinforce a fact accepted so pleasant and memorable. Even if you don’t laugh, it did still work because it is saying that this point is not a priority for the customer. Note the message and move on. Do not apologize or try to excuse your humor ‘ failed ‘-you probably did not notice.
The last point above is the most interesting. Simply put, humor messes with judging system of our brain making it more easily persuaded. A lot of humor relies on a ‘ twist ‘. The first part of the joke-the set up-sets have come to expect a certain result. Part two-the ‘ twist ‘ or punch-line gives you a different result. This jump in logic unleashes laughter releases endorphins; so the brain is rewarded for accepting the outcome. It has been proven that a person is more likely to be persuaded by new ideas, following the laughter. For this reason, Harvard Business Review has named humor as the most potent persuasive tool of all.
Many of us have had our confidence in using mood lessened because at one point we’ve tried to repeat the humor and bombarded. Here’s the scenario: someone says something at a social gathering and you think it is so funny to do appoint to remember him. Later, in another social gathering you try to repeat the humor-and fails miserably. The message I take from this is that we are simply not funny.
Of course, this is wrong. For all there are two styles of humor:
The style of humor that makes us laugh
The style of humor we use to laugh
In the previous scenario, obviously you have chosen a style of humor that is of the first type–but not the second. Every day, we all do something to make someone else laugh. Take note of what you do naturally-might be the pun, exaggeration, characterization, satire, joke telling, story or something else-but you will notice a style emerges as the dominant one. When you try to introduce actively humor, use your natural style to give you the best chance of success.