How do you build trust as a leader? Laugh a lot.
Poet Maya Angelou observed that she couldn’t trust anyone who didn’t laugh.
Laughter spawns an authentic response,reaffirms your sense of humanity and attracts others.
That’s why “laughter is the shortest distance between two people,” noted comedian Victor Borge.
Laughter is also a quick stress reliever.
When you laugh you literally take a “breather.” You expel the bad air in your mind and body.
Then your laughter generates a 25% increase in your brain’s oxygen supply so that you can breathe more fully, think more clearly and ride the rocky road of life more comfortably as author Henry Ward Beecher noted: “a person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.”
“Humor is a vital tool of leadership”
No wonder that humor is a “vital tool of leadership,” says leadership development researcher Gerald D. Bell.
At least that’s what the data showed when Dr. Bell’s researchers surveyed 2,700 employees over two years on what traits contributed most to an effective leader.
Having a good sense of humor and a strong work ethic were mentioned twice as often as any other trait of the most effective leaders.
Maybe that’s because humor helps us “to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected and outlast the unbearable,” according to Rev. Billy Graham.
At any rate, 9 out of 10 executives in a Robert Half International survey believe a sense of humor is important for career advancement.
For more insights on the value of humor in general and laughter in particular to enhance your leadership skills purchase a copy of THINKING Like a Leader from Amazon.com ($15 paperback and $8 E-book).
THINKING LIKE A Leader is the first book in The 3-book Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading on-the-go with stories on leadership principles called Leadership Mints that like the candy are easily accessed, quickly digested and immediately refreshing.
The other two books in the Leadership Mints Series focus on leading with empathy (LOVING Like a Leader) featuring 77 more Leadership Mints (stories) and leading with civility featuring 52 Leadership Mints (stories) (SPEAKING Like a Leader)