One of the best feelings is that of laughing; bonding with others through humour is a skill that can be harvested to help you grow in the accounting career and beyond. Drew Tarvin, who refers to himself as a humor engineer, speaks of how research demonstrates that humor is a strategic tool, and can be used in the workplace to improve morale, solve problems, and increase effectiveness.
He explains the role that humor has, and can, play in the accounting industry well; this episode is certainly worth listening to, especially for some of the laughs.
1. RESEARCH PROVES HUMOR BENEFITS WORKPLACE
Drew explains that the benefits of the use of humour in the workplace can be boiled down to a very simple question: Would you rather do something that is fun or not fun? Fun opportunities are usually more appealing, relieve stress, and allow individuals to stay engaged in tasks for longer. When utilized in the workplace, humor and fun can prevent burnout, and enhance communication, building connections and getting people to listen and understand your ideas quickly and easily.
2. BOREDOM HAS SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES; ONCE YOU GET PEOPLE LAUGHING THEY'RE LISTENING
When Drew works with large and important groups - from the Red Cross to the FBI - he explains that a bored audience is a detached audience, and that detached audiences are unlikely to effectively absorb the necessary information the presenters’ are sharing. To counter this, he explains, individuals can weave humor into their presentations. The key is to use humor to do your job more effectively; to learn how to build on the type of funny you are for the audience and situation you are in at the time, and to keep people engaged in the important information you have to share by hooking them in through humor.
3. PRACTICE AND PRIORITIZE TO IMPROVE
Be sure to practice incorporating humor into your work as often and as creatively as possible. Improv class, repetitive rehearsal of presentations, and discussing with colleagues are all good examples of ways to get this practice. Even if it’s just for you, prioritize fun; one way that Drew talks about finding this fun for himself is reading emails in his head with accents. Importantly, humor is more broad than just jokes and comedy; the skill of humor isn’t just to make people laugh, it's to understand the emotional intelligence of knowing when to use humor and what type of humor to use. Practicing through improvisation is a great way to learn how to be more comfortable and a bit more funny; set small goals, and practice using humor to achieve this specific result.
🎧 To learn more about these ideas, dive deeper into the concept of humor, learn about how to improve your humor confidence, or find yourself a mentor in Cece, head to the Dear Accountant Podcast here.
🎙 “Dear Accountant” podcast is a uniquely insightful and entertaining podcast for aspiring young business professionals. Each episode is packed with actionable advice to help young finance professionals get ready for whatever challenge they may face next. Aside from all of the many cool things in accounting (technical topics and trends), we bring in industry experts and influential leaders to share their journey, insights and perspectives. We will also cover topics that were not taught in school - life essential skills such as personal finance, emotional intelligence, mentorship, networking, body language and human behaviors, and so much more!
💬 About our guest, Drew Tarvin: Drew Tarvin is speaker, trainer, author, and coach who teaches people and organizations how to use humor to be more effective while having fun. Drew has delivered speaking and training sessions for over 10,000 people at more than 100 organizations, including Procter & Gamble, GE, general assembly, and the Ohio State University. Through his company, “humor that works” he helps people find success by tapping into their natural personality. He also loves the color orange and is obsessed with milkshakes.
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