If you don’t occasionally share a laugh with your coworkers, then you are missing something important.
The past few years have been very difficult years for many businesses. And yet, I think I have recently laughed harder and more often while conversing with my coworkers than during any previous years.
I can assure you that I am not funnier this year. I don’t think my friends and coworkers are funnier. I think we all just find humor a reasonable response to the increased pressure we have been experiencing.
Of course, we cannot turn everything into a joke. Some problems and situations are just too serious. Keeping balance is important. You need to know what is appropriate.
Companies are getting squeezed for profits (too many good competitors); unable to apply more time or money; and unwilling to accept bad results, they are putting the squeeze on their managers and employees.
You might have read some examples of that pressure turning into public relations disasters when employees forget that their customer pays the bills. Too much pressure and too little time can lead to bad decisions.
Sometimes leaders begin to see themselves as godlike: all-knowing and all-powerful. Their comeuppances can be embarrassing and painful; humiliating and crushing, and oddly satisfying to everybody else.
Yet we also sometimes see folks display amazing grace under pressure.
Yes, they might fail, but when you hear that note of humor, self-deprecation, or understanding, you know that these are the folks who will learn the most from failure and will rise again to battle new problems.
These leaders will then experience victory, in no small part because they inspire and lift up those around them. If they can share a laugh, even when it is sometimes at their own expense, you know that the world is still okay.
Try to find a gentle laugh and an easy smile when you can. Find some balance, find your center. Then get back out there and fix something.