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Sarcasm, Self-Deprecation, and Inside Jokes: A User’s Guide to Humor at Work

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https://hbr.org/2020/07/sarcasm-self-deprecation-and-inside-jokes-a-users-guide-to-humor-at-work

hbr.org

Sarcasm, Self-Deprecation, and Inside Jokes: A User’s Guide to Humor at Work
Some leaders use humor instinctively; many more could wield it purposefully.

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Humor at work

Humor at work

Being funny can have both positive and negative consequences, in your personal as well as your professional life. And context is always important: when making a joke, for instance, you should defin...

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Humor and its effects on the status

Humor and status have always been tightly linked: good leaders seem to often use humor in order to motivate their team members' actions. As individuals, we tend to prefer, researchers claim, jo...

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Inside jokes

Making inside jokes usually shows how bounded a team or a group is: their jokes can understood the best by themselves.

However, the moment an outsider integrates the group, it is better to...

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Sarcasm and its use

Sarcasm has often been associated with creative thinking by numerous researchers.

Used when exchanging information with persons who know you well, it can easily lead to an improved communi...

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Self-deprecating humor

Self-deprecating humor can be extremely useful when neutralizing negative information about oneself.

However, it should by all means be avoided when talking about core competencies. Knowin...

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Humor as a weapon

We have all found ourselves, at some point in our life, feeling uncomfortable due to a question that was asked to us.

The way we answer to these questions is what makes us stand out in fac...

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Humor and feedbacks

When delivering negative feedbacks, a good way to do it is by engaging humor.

This has two main consequences: on one hand, it makes criticism more memorable and on the other, it soften...

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Humor as tool to cope with negative feelings

Whenever you deal with negative emotions, humor can prove extremely useful. It does not only ease your pain, but it can also
help you cope with tough situations overall. This is mainly because...

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Making jokes properly

Making jokes properly is actually an art, which can easily lead to solving or creating issues. A particular situation is the leader's one: mastering the art of joking often results in more popu...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Anyone can use humor

Appropriate humor relaxes an audience and makes them feel more comfortable with you as the speaker. 

Humor can bring attention to the point you are making and help the audien...

Developing Anecdotes

The best and most comfortable place to find humor comes from your own personal experience. 

Jot down funny ideas as you come across it that might appeal to your audience - an embarrassing moment that you might not have found funny at the time, or a funny conversation you had. 

Honing the Delivery

Make sure your choose humor is funny to you. First practice with small groups of people. Pay attention to the way your are delivering the joke or quip.

Only use humor in a speech after you are comfortable telling it from memory and have tested it.

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The humor effect defined

The humor effect is a psychological phenomenon that causes people to remember information better when that information is perceived as funny or humorous.

The use of humor enhances people’s

Benefits of incorporating humor into learning

  • Humorous information receives increased attention during the perception stage.
  • Improved encoding. Our brain gives preferential treatment to humorous information when it comes to storing it in our memory.
  • The use of humor serves as a distraction from negative emotions, such as anger or anxiety, that people might experience when processing certain information.
  • Reading or viewing something humorous has a positive and energizing effect.
  • Adding humor to the information that you are presenting can make it more interesting to others.

Different types of humor lead to different outcomes

The use of positive, nonaggressive humor is associated with 

  • improved learning outcomes, 
  • a relaxed learning environment, 
  • better student evaluations, 
  • an increased motivation to learn, 
  • improved information recall, 
  • an increased degree of student satisfaction throughout the learning process.

The use of negative or aggressive humor, especially if aimed at particular students, will produce the opposite effect.

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Humor benefits to marketing materials

Humor benefits to marketing materials
  • Humor breaks down walls, shows personality a.k.a. shows a brand's human side.
  • Humor is attention-grabbing. It is naturally colorful and original.
  • People love ...

At its worst, humor is:

  • The wrong joke at the wrong time. It can make your brand look amateurish and unprofessional.
  • If people think you’re cracking jokes for the sole purpose of getting more attention, you’ll be seen as exploitative rather than funny.
  • Humor can cheapen certain ideas or make them be taken less seriously.
  • In some cases, humor can be outright offensive.
  • Key areas to create value with humor

    • Humorous touches can almost always improve a piece that is already valuable on its own.
    • If you’re sure a joke is going to land, it can make an effective advertisement. Test variations of the joke with a small audience first; that way, you can be sure the humor doesn’t cross a line.
    • Brand differentiation. For example, Oreo has long differentiated itself by offering a quirky, tongue-in-cheek voice across its social media platforms. This is especially effective in dry, or otherwise “boring” industries.
    • Personal branding. Elon Musk, for example, has separated himself from his companies Tesla and SpaceX by cracking jokes and roasting people on his own account.

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