Are you one of those people who think you’re hilarious? That tell a story and rock a room? Are you sure about that?
When we think of funny people it’s easy to go to the obvious personality type, the Mango. Mangoes are funny, no doubt. Humour comes naturally to them and they are unafraid to take risks to get a laugh. And one of the biggest contributions they make to the workplace is their humour. Laughter comes easily as does the ability to make others laugh. And yet, even this can misfire.
Let me share a story that makes me shudder as I recall it, but we all know the big mistakes are the best learning. It was in my early days as a trainer nearly 20 years ago. The class was having a discussion about the impact of saying sorry automatically, or too much. This, by the way, is a real issue for our Banana friends, who often assume guilt when there is none.
As I made my way to the front of the class, I accidentally knocked a girls chair. She immediately said sorry. I, in a moment of great hilarity responded in what I thought was a highly amusing tone – oh for heaven sake you can’t be serious? Really? I was smiling when I said it, honestly. She burst into tears. In turns out her husband and her father constantly berated her for being weak and apologising too much.
So instead of the nurturing person I see myself as, I had created even more tension and stress for her, proving their point.
Dr David Cheng from ANU’S Research School of Management can help shed some light on this. He and his team have run several studies on humour and reveals that the effect humour has under pressure is based on two things: one, your relationship with the other person and two, the way in which you’ve offered support.
Consider my relationship with the person already stressed. Was she a friend? No. Just someone I met that morning. She was looking for support and in her mind that didn’t mean, make me laugh. It meant, bloody well help me and give me something useful, as well as a bit of love along the way.
Mangoes have the combined gift of good humour and an optimistic outlook. They have the ability to see both the positive in difficult moments and the funny side. This is an enormous asset to any team. They just need to pick their targets, and their moments.
Find out your preference for Apple, Mango, Lime or Banana, do the short Fruit Quiz.
Lynne’s new book, Pick Me! Loving and Living with People You Just Don’t Get. will be out in March 2021. Through a series of hilarious, and relatable relationship stories constructed from real life scenarios, Lynne Schinella will share why and how we are different, the impact this has on our personal relationships and how to navigate the frustrating but delightful mess that is living with someone we just don’t get.
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