Humor at Work: Better Results. More Fun.

How to be more productive, less stressed, and happier using humor in the workplace.
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  • Lectures 52
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 1/2015 English

Course Description

Learn how to reduce stress, improve morale, and enjoy your work more by using humor in the workplace.

Just because you have a job, it doesn't mean you have to hate it. In this course, you'll learn the ins and outs of how to use humor at work.

Using humor in the workplace can help you:

  • Relieve stress and increase overall workplace happiness.
  • Improve office morale and build trust among team members.
  • Deliver more effective presentations and influence people.
  • And make work more pleasant and fun.

Despite these powerful benefits, less than 1/3rd of people use humor at work regularly. Maybe you don't think you have the time or just don't have any ideas. Or maybe you've tried it before and it didn't go so well. Or you're afraid you won't be taken seriously or you'll say something inappropriate. Or maybe you're shy or introverted and don't feel like it's part of your natural personality.

This course will help you overcome those challenges and teach you everything you need to know about using humor at work.

Whether you already use humor and just want to be more intentional, your team has no humor and you just want to help people loosen up, or you've never tried humor at all, you'll learn the necessary skills to bring levity to the office. You'll learn:

  • How to use humor in different situations and how to "know" your audience.
  • How to confidently present your humor.
  • When humor is and isn't appropriate, what subjects are "off-limits," and how to avoid saying anything inappropriate.
  • How use humor effectively without being seen as a clown or a jester.
  • How to incorporate humor on a regular basis so that is has a positive impact on the culture at work.
  • How to teach other people about the benefit of humor so they can embrace it as productivity tool.

What This Course is Not

This course is all about using humor to be more effective at work. This course is:

  • NOT a course in stand up comedy. You will learn about basic joke structure, but the course will not cover things like how to create a set list, the business of stand-up, or how to get on the Tonight Show.
  • NOT a course in humor theory. We do touch on basic humor theory, but you will not learn that ins and outs of what makes us as humans laugh.
  • NOT a course in zombie apocalypse survival strategies, although I do mention it.

What are the requirements?

  • No need to do anything, everything is covered in the course.
  • Although you should have an electronic device capable of displaying video and playing audio. (If you're reading this text, you're covered).
  • You could have a job, be looking for a job, or be in school.
  • You should probably drink some water. And sit up straight!

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Use humor in different situations.
  • Know when humor is and isn't appropriate.
  • Explain to bosses and coworkers the value of humor.
  • Make humor a routine and use it on a regular basis.
  • Tell funnier stories, give better presentations, and be more confident.

What is the target audience?

  • This course is for people who want to enjoy their job more while doing it better.
  • It's designed for people who want to be taken seriously at work but still wanted to lighten the mood and have.
  • It will help people who are worried about what other people will think, don't have any ideas, or don't think they have time.
  • It's for outgoing and shy people alike (created by an introvert / INTJ).
  • It is not for people who like being bored at work, think laughing is stupid, or have taken a vow against smiling.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction + Why Humor Matters
02:36

This lecture introduces the course and what you're going to learn, previews some of the fun you're going to have, and shows you how to get support along the way.

SUMMARY

In this course, you're going to learn:

  • How to use humor in different situations and how to "know" your audience.
  • How to confidently present your humor so it lands, and how to do it without being seen as a clown or a jester.
  • When humor is and isn't appropriate, what subjects are "off-limits," and how to avoid saying anything inappropriate.
  • How to incorporate humor on a regular basis so that is has a positive impact on the culture at work.
  • How to teach other people about the benefit of humor so they can embrace it as productivity tool.
22 pages

The goal of this course is to help you start using humor in the workplace right away. This "lecture" is really a handout that will open the magical doors of exercises you can do to follow along.

SUMMARY

Prework: gets you thinking about the material to be covered in the upcoming section.
Homework: gives you a chance to practice using humor.

01:51

Given the $1 trillion problem of disengaged employees, stressed out workers, and high turnover, what can we do? In this lecture you learn how humor could help change the way we feel about work.

SUMMARY

People who use humor are more productive, less stressed, and happier.

There are 30 additional benefits humor provides, all backed by research, case studies, and real-world examples. To see them, check out the resources section.

RESOURCES

30 Benefits of Humor

Section 2: What Humor Means
01:09

Humor means different things to different people. This lecture prepares you for the section and shares why it's so important to be clear in your message.

SUMMARY

In this section, you'll learn what we mean by humor in the workplace.

03:53

Humor is more than comedy. This lecture will teach you what all is included when we talk about humor in the workplace and explain why you don't always need to be the creator of humor.

SUMMARY

  • Humor is defined as a comic, absurd, or incongruous quality that causes amusement.
  • Humor That Works is defined as using humor that is effective, different, and fun.
  • There is a difference between sense of humor and skill at humor.
  • Sense of humor is knowing what is humorous and when it's appropriate.
  • Skill at humor means that being able to use humor can be learned
02:16

There are 4 styles of humor, each with strengths and weaknesses. This lecture teaches you about each style and shows which ones are appropriate for the office.

SUMMARY

The 4 styles of humor are:

  • Affiliative
  • Self-Enhancing
  • Self-Defeating
  • Aggressive

RESOURCES

To learn more about the four styles of humor, check out the humor styles wikipedia page.

02:44

Humor can make you more productive... but only if you use it appropriately. This lecture teaches you how to avoid inappropriate humor.

SUMMARY

There are 3 reasons humor is inappropriate:

  1. Inappropriate Subject
  2. Inappropriate Target
  3. Inappropriate Time

RESOURCES

To see examples of what happens when humor goes awry, check out these stories:

00:57

This lecture concludes what we mean by humor.

SUMMARY

Humor isn’t about making work funny, it’s about making work fun. And you don’t always have to be the creator of humor, sometimes being the conduit is enough.

Section 3: The Humor MAP
01:12

Nothing can tell you what specific humor to use, but there are guidelines that can help out. This lecture builds the framework for this section on The Humor MAP.

SUMMARY

The Humor MAP can help you create humor that is appropriate and effective.

01:30

There are 3 important things to know before determining what humor to use. This lecture teaches what those 3 things are.

SUMMARY

The 3 things are:

  1. Medium
  2. Audience
  3. Purpose
03:41

The most important thing to know before using humor is the reason you want to use it in the first place. In this lecture you learn why.

SUMMARY

There are 5 main reasons to use humor:

  1. To improve communication.
  2. To build relationships.
  3. To enhance problem solving.
  4. To increase productivity.
  5. To strengthen leadership.
03:02

Who receives your humor impacts the type you should use. This lecture tells you what you need to know about them.

SUMMARY

When it comes to knowing your audience, it's important to know:

  • Who they are.
  • What they know.
  • What they expect.
  • What they need.
03:21

Where your humor is delivered changes how it should be executed. In this lecture you find out what you need to know.

SUMMARY

Medium for humor can be:

  • Written
  • Oral
  • Writoral
00:42

This lecture completes The Humor MAP.

SUMMARY

By planning ahead and truly understanding your Medium, Audience, and Purpose, you’ll find humor that is effective and fun.

Section 4: Humor Devices
02:00

Creative endeavors seem like works of creative genius, but often there's an underlying structure that helps the creative process. This lecture sets the stage for the structure of humor.

SUMMARY

Structure helps you create humor. This section teaches you how.

02:02

There are a number of different structures that can help you use humor. This lecture introduces each one.

SUMMARY

There are 3 categories of humor: Relatable, Surprise, and Sensory.
9 Humor Devices: Association, Observation, Storytelling, Incongruity, Pattern, Jokes, Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic.

02:03

Just because you have a framework, it doesn't mean success is guaranteed. This lecture shares the limitations of the humor devices.

SUMMARY

The limitations of the humor devices include:

  1. There are no guarantees.
  2. Not all encompassing.
  3. Simple but not easy.
00:38

This lecture concludes the 9 Humor Devices.

SUMMARY

That’s it for the introduction to the 9 humor devices. Over the next 3 lessons we’ll go into more detail for each device, explaining how to use each one in the workplace and giving you exercises for creating examples of your own.

Section 5: Relatable Devices
01:32

When we relate to humor, we feel a stronger connection with the humorist. This lecture introduces Relatable Devices.

SUMMARY

Relatable humor hinges on the fact that we, surprise, relate to the humor in some way.

03:23

The combination of two unique ideas is one of the easiest forms of humor. This lecture teaches you about Association.

SUMMARY

Association is the connecting of two ideas together in a unique way. This includes metaphors, analogies, and mnemonics.

03:17

The intermediate form of Relatable Humor involves commenting on something other people are aware of. This lecture teaches you about Observation.

SUMMARY

Observation is simply a reference to something that everyone is aware of. This includes pointing out something that just happened, recapping an event, or making a reference to something that was said previously.

03:45

Telling people a story is a great but challenging way to incorporate humor. This lectures teaches you about Storytelling.

SUMMARY

Storytelling is about sharing a series of events with a beginning, middle, and end, including anecdotes, fables, and personal stories of your own.

00:34

This lecture wraps up Relatable Devices.

SUMMARY

Relatable humor is more about making things fun than it is about making things funny. But because it's all about relating to another person, it's a great device to build relationships and improve communication.

Section 6: Surprise Devices
01:44

Often we laugh when we are surprised by something in a pleasant way. This lecture introduces Surprise Devices.

SUMMARY

Sensory humor is humor experienced through one of the senses. It could be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.

03:08

The easiest form of Surprise humor is something unexpected. This lecture teaches you about Incongruity.

SUMMARY

Incongruity is something unexpected among normal circumstances. This means things like using unique language, wearing interesting apparel, or giving nicknames to team members.

03:40

The repetition of a concept or idea is the intermediate form of Surprise. This lecture teaches you about Pattern.

SUMMARY

Pattern is simply the repetition of a phrase, concept, or idea. This includes PowerPoint themes, parallelism in language, and repetition of mantras.

04:05

One of the hardest forms of humor is saying something with the express purpose of making them laugh. This lecture teaches you about Jokes.

SUMMARY

Jokes are about creating a structured comment meant to evoke laughter. These are your one-liners, deliberate misdirection, and knock knock jokes.

00:35

This lecture completes Surprise Devices.

SUMMARY

Surprise humor can be a great way to get people to understand material and laugh, though it does include one of the hardest types of humor: jokes.

Section 7: Sensory Devices
02:47

People will forget what you say, but they won't forget how you make them feel. This lecture introduces Sensory Devices.

SUMMARY

Sensory humor is humor experienced through one of the senses. It could be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.

02:22

Using an image or graph is an easy way to add humor to your work. This lecture teaches you about Visual Humor.

SUMMARY

Visual humor is the representation of an idea through images. This could be a picture, cartoon, or a graph.

02:42

The intermediate form of Sensor Humor is using music, sound, and noise. This lecture teaches you about Auditory Humor.

SUMMARY

Auditory humor is the representation of an idea through sound. This isn’t necessarily just talking, but is music, sound effects, and ambient noise.

03:37

Activities and exercises can be powerful but challenging to facilitate. This lecture teaches you about Kinesthetic Humor.

SUMMARY

Kinesthetic humor is a structured activity involving targeted participants. This includes teambuilding activities, live demonstrations, and yes, even dreaded icebreakers.

00:40

This lecture summarizes Sensory Devices.

SUMMARY

Sensory humor can be a great way to communicate ideas in an interesting way, and can certainly bring people closer together.

Section 8: Humor Performance
01:06

The success of humor comes down to its execution This lecture sets the stage for the focus on performance in this section.

SUMMARY

50% of success comes down to the execution of your humor.

02:39

Finding humor can seem challenging but is surprisingly easy. This lecture shows where you to find humor you can share.

SUMMARY

There are great humor resources out there, including:

  • xkcd.com
  • zenpencils.com
  • youtube.com/badlipreading
  • cracked.com
  • theonion.com
  • mcsweeneys.net
  • reddit.com
  • pinterest.com
  • stumbleupon.com
  • humorsoffice.com

For creating your own humor, the greatest resources is you.

03:19

To create humor, you need inspiration. This lecture shares common sources of humor inspiration.

SUMMARY

Three tips for writing humor:

  1. Keep a notebook.
  2. Write a lot.
  3. Make humor a habit.

RESOURCES

For more examples of unscripted moments in movies, check out the 32 Greatest Unscripted Movie Scenes.

03:54

If you want your humor to land, it has to be well-executed. This lecture teaches you what you need to know to perform well.

SUMMARY

Three tips for performing humor:

  1. Commit.
  2. Be brief.
  3. Put the humor at the end.
00:34

This lecture concludes humor performance tips.

SUMMARY

Regardless of the type of humor you use, how you execute it will play a large role in how it is received. The tips from this section should help you get started on implementing humor in a way that amuses your audience.

Section 9: Putting It All Together
01:06

Cooking is more than just combining ingredients, and humor is more than just knowing the devices. This lecture sets up putting it all together.

SUMMARY

In this section, we'll take all of the lessons you've learned so far and talk about how to use them to create humor in the workplace.

1 page

Chances are you have a few lingering questions about humor. This lecture answers the most commonly asked questions.

SUMMARY

You've got questions, I've got answers.

02:49

Choosing the right humor can be a challenge. This lecture shares a few tips for making the choice.

SUMMARY

The Humor Matrix helps you identify what type of humor to use depending on your situation and purpose.

04:02

Once you've decided on what humor to use, how do you if it will work? This lecture is the closet thing you'll get to a crystal ball to know for sure.

SUMMARY

The Humor Checklist helps you confirm the key points of using humor to better ensure your humor will be a success.

00:52

This lecture puts it all together.

SUMMARY

Ta da!

Section 10: The Final Lessons
01:02

There's a difference between knowing and doing. This lecture sets up the final lessons of the this course.

SUMMARY

Now that you have this knowledge to add humor, it's your responsibility to go out and use it.

01:15

A recap of the entire course.

SUMMARY

A recap of the entire course.

03:15

This lecture concludes the course and shares why it’s so important to use humor in the workplace.

SUMMARY

You spend 33.6% of your adult awake life at work, why not choose humor?

Section 11: Bonus Material
Article

But wait... there's more. Find out what bonus materials you have in store.

SUMMARY

  • Credits! -- Shout out to the creative people who made this course possible.
  • References? -- I didn't just make this stuff up.
  • Why Humor is So Desperately Needed -- Facts about the current way of working.
  • The ROI of Corporate Humor -- Stats to sell humor to corporate types.
  • Abraham Lincoln Story -- Lincoln and the Value of Humor.
6 pages

A big thank you to everyone who made their creative work available via Creative Commons licenses that made this course more engaging.

SUMMARY

A list of all the images, audio, and video I used in the course.

3 pages

They say 87% of statistics are made up (like that one), but the claims made in this course are backed by research, case studies, and real-world examples. Here are the sources for the material I used throughout the course.

SUMMARY

See the sources I used in creating this course.

02:32

What's the problem with trying to be as efficient as possible? This lecture explains why it's not always effective, particularly when it comes to humans.

SUMMARY

  • There's a difference between efficiency and effectiveness.
  • 83% of Americans are stressed out at work.
  • 55% of Americans are unsatisfied with their jobs.
  • 47% of Americans struggle to stay happy.
  • It leads to US economy losing up to $811 billion every year.
02:10

What type of return on investment (ROI) can humor actually bring? $700? $4,000? $8,000? This bonus lecture gets into some of the detail on the value humor can bring.

SUMMARY

Humor can help...

  • Save an average in $700 in stress-related costs.
  • Increase engagement to the tune of $4600 per re-engaged employee.
  • Retain $8800 by reducing turnover.
02:20

From time-to-time, I get someone who is worried about humor because they think their work is far too serious to do something like have fun. Ignoring the fact that using humor will actually help you do your job better while helping you enjoy it more, I'm always reminded of a story about Abraham Lincoln.

SUMMARY

Lincoln understood the value of using humor even during a serious time like the Civil War. If he can use it then, you can use it now.

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Instructor Biography

Andrew Tarvin is an international project manager turned humor engineer. He works with engineers and technical professionals who want to be more productive and less stressed. He has conducted hundreds of trainings for organizations such as Procter & Gamble, GE, and General Assembly on topics including humor in the workplace, effective communication, and agile leadership.

Andrew has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, TEDx, and FastCompany, is the author of the best-selling book 501 Ways to Use Humor at Work, and has written more than 400 articles receiving more than 2.1 million pageviews from 180 different countries.

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