February 3, 2018 - Issue 18-05


Good afternoon. 

Having always appreciated good humor, the article I found for this week's discussion reminded me of my early adulthood many years ago. 

In those days, it seemed to me one of the funniest men alive was Johnny Carson, the master of one-line stand-up performances on late-night TV. Another was Bill Cosby (of course this was long before he was involved in politics and sexual harassment accusations). One of his funniest routines ever, for me, was about God giving Noah instructions for building an ark. That's one of the things I can think about to make myself laugh when I want to - a very good thing to do!

With that lead-in, today I'll address the appropriate use of humor by business leaders. Properly done, it can be quite effective. Below, I'll take on this topic in the context of an article by Leigh Buchanan, a long-time contributor to INC. magazine.

Read on, and enjoy! 

John Stevens at Unity Copywriting

Marketing Support for the Business Coaching Industry


Laughter's Good for You!

Often when there are important issues on the table stress levels rise, communication can break down, and people can get distracted from effective progress.  Appropriate use of humor can lighten the atmosphere, and get people back to thinking clearly and effectively.

Many studies have shown that laughter is great therapy. I remember several which suggest that laughing uproariously at least once a day can have tremendous health benefits. This is at least partly due to the release of endorphins which can counteract stress hormones such as cortisol.

Watching children is often a great way to see a microcosm of adult topics of importance. When my granddaughter is mightily upset about some issue of great matter to her, I've often noticed how quickly that can change when her father makes a joke about something close at hand - he's very good at that. Within seconds she's laughing through her tears and has completely forgotten what had her so upset.

In  this article, Buchanan describes work being done by two Stanford professors which shows there can be many positives in the use of humor by business leaders, including:
  • Strengthening cultural sense of belonging
  • Stimulating creativity
  • Improving negotiations
Check it out!

Of Course, Moderation is in Order

As with many techniques in leadership, variety and discretion are critical to the effectiveness of this one. 

As valuable as the use of humor might be, overdoing it can make it very ineffective, even detrimental. Trying to force humor or worse, ridiculing individuals or religious or political views can be very damaging to relationships. And surely it goes without saying that sexual innuendo is entirely inappropriate in the workplace. Any of these gaffs can do more damage than any benefit that might be gained by appropriate use of humor. 

So...be a bit light-hearted in your approach as a leader, and use humor appropriately and with discretion. Leigh Buchanan's article is a good guide.

If you work with business leaders to help them improve their results, you know the value of staying visible to your prospects and clients until they feel the need for a coach's help.

A well written periodic newsletter targeting your ideal prospects can be a powerful tool to keep you top-of-mind. Then, when they see the need for a coach, you'll be the first one they think of, and you'll get the call.  

Who has time to write newsletters? I make it easy and affordable. The one you're reading is an example. Here's another

I'd love to learn more about how your business works. If you'd like to discuss  what  you do, please pick a time that works for you here, and let's talk.   

Have a wonderful weekend , and consider calling me  to talk about how we can cooperate to add value to what  you  do. Our discussion about how we can mutually benefit from working together is totally on me - no obligation or cost will arise from that conversation. You won't pay me a dime until you hire me to write something for you.

Be well, my friends.


About John
Throughout a career spanning over 45 years my  management style has been one of building teams to bring several competent people together to focus on a common objective. 

As I transition to life in the Argentine outback, my focus will shift to helping other business coaches and advisers get their message out to their prospective clients. With my first-hand knowledge of the benefits of effective business coaching, I am uniquely qualified to work with business advisers of all stripes convey their message.

Contact Info
John B. Stevens, Freelance Copywriter

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