Monday, 4 January 2010

There is humour in the air.

It is New Year 2010 and the Alps are full of snow, with a mixture of competent and incompetent skiers and boarders hitting the slopes. The sense of freedom, being in the mountains brings, and the fact that emails and blackberry connections have slowed to trickle, make this a special time of the year and a great time for reflection and re -correlation back to your key principals and beliefs.

We have seen in business and in politics in 2009 a complete lack of leadership, with some very serious people talking serious rubbish, a tightening of rules and regulations and a lack of fun in the air. Many leaders fail to understand when people are laughing, they are really listening.

As the Irish in me puts it:
When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay!

No matter what you are doing, great communicators know that a little humour goes a long way toward creating unforgettable messages. Now let’s not get carried away, and feel that by putting one of those silly PowerPoint pictures on a slide, will ever make you look cool.
Humour comes from the inside out. You must feel it, breathe it, and a little laughter at yourself goes a long way.

Here are my New Year wishes for business people and leaders:

o Humour and Comedy drive creativity and innovation: research shows that the addition of a little humour before, during and in closing meetings boosts the commitment of people to the meeting and of course builds more creativity within the meeting. Come on, laugh a little!

o Increase the bottom line results: let’s be honest. We much prefer to be around humorous individuals, and by this I don’t mean silly individuals, I am talking about people who do a serious job with a light touch. These individuals in all research experience higher employee productivity, engagement and retention.Where people are enjoying themselves money is being made!

o Putting a smiling face to the world: today, right now, smile and I bet you will feel better. So come on lift the game by smiling more. Change that daft voice mail and make yourself more humorous even when you are not there. Give us a laugh!

o Let think before we communicate: those blasted email messages, that allow us to say things, make accusations, sound pompous in a way that we would never normally behave. Change your style now. Stop reaching for the blackberry in order to give someone a piece of your mind! Lame, pathetic, and cowardly....Talk to me!

My dream for 2010 is that I can convince 3 people who will convince three people each , who will convince 3 people each etc. to laugh more. We may actually find that the world does not have to be so serious and that there are good Leaders who can make it a better place. I can only offer to do my bit. May 2010 be a bellyful of laughs for you!


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