“Humor can alter any situation and help us cope at the very instant we are laughing.”
I recently gave a presentation on how to turbocharge a creative team and I want to apologize to the audience for a critical omission. In speaking about what attitudes and behaviors are needed to succeed as an in-house creative, I left out the most important attribute of all – a sense of humor.
Maybe, at least for me, it was so obvious that I took it for granted. It is so important, that I’d say if you don’t have it you should find another profession immediately. It’s also a bellwether for staying at or leaving a job. If you had it when you started and then you lose it then leave.
It’s no understatement to say that working in a corporation, with all the inanity, insanity, nastiness, pettiness and politics that goes with it, can break down even the most positive and optimistic spirit. The best defense is to be able to find the humor in it all. There are some fine lines that it’s best not to cross though. Humor as a rationale for resignation is a big no-no as is nasty humor employed at the expense of others.
At it’s best and most valuable, humor will help you accept and even embrace the foibles of others without denigrating them. It will help you not take things so seriously even while everyone around you is chickenlittling themselves to death. It’s also the lubricant that greases a team’s collaborative wheels.
The most effective use of humor that I’ve found, though, is when I apply it liberally to myself. There sure is plenty of material there and I always end up feeling a little less self-important and a lot lighter when I laugh with myself rather than at others.
As designers, we’re wired to be problem solvers. With that in mind, I believe the last quote is particularly appropriate. BTW – The irony that this is one of the least funny posts I’ve written is not lost on me. 😉
“I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it.”
-Frank Howard Clark