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It's No Joke! Humor Positively Impacts Performance

Posted 8 years ago

It seems like everyday, a new workplace study finds that suppressing employee individuality is counterproductive. Organizations that encourage their employees’ humor and eccentricities do better than their competitors. Is this because people are more relaxed and comfortable working somewhere that accepts (and even values) uniqueness? Probably. Is it because things like humor and individualism actually increase the free flow of creative ideas and outside-the-box problem solving? It’s beginning to look that way…

It’s No Joke! Humor Positively Impacts Performance

by Dr. Tony Alessandra

There absolutely is a connection between humor and improved brain function. A great deal of study has been devoted to the negative things that can happen to the brain and why they happen. We know a lot about the effects of depression, fear, and anger. For some reason, the positive influences haven’t generated as much interest. But these influences are very interesting. Laughter, in fact, is not only interesting but is positively mysterious.
How does the brain know that something is funny? Studies suggest that on this is a three-part process. A cognitive element helps you get the joke. A neuromuscular aspect helps move the muscles of the face to smile and laugh. And a third emotional element produces the enjoyable experience of laughter.
Why is laughter enjoyable? It stimulates the production of a neurochemical called dopamine, which is also associated with many other pleasurable activities.
All of this seems to have some very practical benefits. Tests have found evidence that humor in films and videos can diminish stress and promote relaxation. How this happens is not entirely clear. Something is definitely happening on the biological level — the production of dopamine. But could laughter also simply distract the brain from whatever else was on its mind, so to speak? It doesn’t really matter. We’ve seen that stress weakens brain function, so whatever lowers stress will have the opposite effect.
At this point, I’m tempted to tell some funny stories, but I’ll resist that temptation and say goodbye until my next blog post.

humorDr. Tony Alessandra has a street-wise, college-smart perspective on business, having been raised in the housing projects of NYC to eventually realizing success as a graduate professor of marketing, internet entrepreneur, business author, and hall-of-fame keynote speaker. He earned a BBA from Notre Dame, a MBA from the Univ. of Connecticut and his PhD in marketing from Georgia State University (1976).
Known as “Dr. Tony” he’s authored 30+ books and 100+ audio/video programs. He was inducted into the NSA Speakers Hall of Fame (1985) and Top Sales World’s Hall of Fame (2010).  Meetings & Conventions Magazine has called him “one of America’s most electrifying speakers”.
Dr. Tony is also the Founder/CVO of  Assessments 24×7.  Assessments 24×7 is a global leader of online DISC assessments, delivered from easy-to-use online accounts popular with business coaches and Fortune 500 trainers around the world.  Interested in learning more about these customized assessment accounts? Please CONTACT US.