Kelvinwright's Blog

postmodern thoughts

A sense of humour is just common sense dancing

A-sense-of-humor  Just before going off on my summer vacation, somebody at work asked me, “What is it that you look for in your candidates?” It was an interesting question; I look for many things. “Why do you ask?” I enquired. “Because all of the people you bring into the company seem happy… they smile. They have a sense of humour.”

One of the first things I look for is a candidate with a sense of humour, with a natural smile. If somebody can’t even put on a smile at an interview, when they are a candidate, then how will they ever manage one when they are an employee?! Yes, I look for something that is not on the CV, neither in the job description. I look for somebody with a genuine sense of humour. A person who will not trudge around the office looking like they are biting down on a thistle, but somebody who will bring a smile, and hopefully a touch of humour to accompany his or her talent.

A sense of humour can be a funny thing (no pun intended). People say their favourite work colleague has one, or their ideal partner. However, it seems that people don’t actively look for it. Business guru Tom Peters has strong opinions about the importance of humour in the workplace: “The number one premise of business is that it need not be boring or dull. It ought to be fun. If it’s not fun, (then) you’re wasting your life.” Peters states that injecting more humour into the workplace can increase creative thinking, teamwork, and even productivity. As somebody working in HR, I’m always looking for new ways to increase these three factors in the postmodern workplace. It’s a continuous circle: the top talent (in other words, the best people) are attracted to companies that have an element of fun in their working environments, amongst other things. Who would admit to wanting to work in an unfriendly, cold, impersonal, and miserable workplace? People who can laugh together, who are able to share a joke together, will hopefully work well together.

Most likely, there will be people who find such behaviour to be perplexing, peculiar, weird, or even silly. Others will say that such people lack a sense of humour, so where is your sense of humour?

Quote, “A sense of humour is just common sense, dancing”, from William James, American philosopher and psychologist (1842 – 1910)

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August 13, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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