Summary: When situations at work are tense, there is a need for some laughter. Timing is a core issue. Here are ways clowns at work (annoying) become humorists (clever).
Dear Dr. Sylvia,
When numbers are down, I need help getting my team out of a fear-based mentality.
Most importantly, This is a tense time.
Above all, there is talk of a recession, and we have a fantastic luxury product that people love. However, it is not one they need.
We manufacture and sell home saunas. They are excellent for health and wellness.
However, when the choice is paying the mortgage or having a good sweat, the mortgage always wins (as it should).
Taking time for jokes isn’t working.
Clowns at work take time from completing challenging assignments.
In fact, it makes everyone more contentious.
Therefore, how do you transform the clown pattern to be a humorist?
Dear Not Funny,
Firstly, the need for humor can be helpful when situations are not going in a positive direction.
Let’s take a minute and look at the possibilities.
Clowns at work want to be funny to lessen tension.
What happens at work when meetings get tense?
Does the team leader call for a break? Or does someone jump in with a joke, hoping to warm the frigid emotions? Is there simply a deafening silence for a few minutes, and then you just keep plodding on, ignoring the elephant in the room?
As an illustration, let me share a story that happened a few weeks ago at a meeting that perfectly shows the clown pattern.
After you read about how the tension was relieved, think about how you would have handled being in charge.
What can the clowns at work do to lead a team to success?
To demonstrate, here’s the scene: Dan, a jovial marketing expert, was known for his wit. He often jumped in when two or three individuals threw verbal darts at each other. One strong-willed and very opinionated woman was under attack on this particular day.
Hense, Dan waited till there was a short silence and said:
“Hey, you guys, this tension reminds me of a story about a woman who killed her husband. She did not just kill him, but she chopped him into pieces. The note in the house entry was that she had had enough.
He never listened, and for the umpteenth time, she told him NOT to walk on the newly washed hallway and kitchen floors, and, well, he ignored her once too often.
The police arrived at the house and called headquarters. We’re ready to look for the culprit. The sergeant in charge responded, “What are you waiting for?” The police on site “We’re waiting for the floors to dry.”
In conclusion, what do you think was the reaction from the team of ten?
Meet Dan, a perfect example of the clown pattern.
Humor can help smooth out the jagged edges of upset.
Sometimes humor is the best way to drive a point home. It can communicate ideas that are serious in a lighthearted way. My question to you is, “How was Dan’s timing?”
On the other hand, the VP asked Dan to please, please, not make any more jokes like the one from the other day. The answer. The guys on the team laughed. The gals were furious. Instead of moving forward, this team had to take a break and meet several days later when tempers cooled.
The major work for those with the clown pattern is becoming a humorist.
Watch the video below and find out the best way to give effective feedback to those “Clowns” when they show.
The difference between a clown to a humorist is in the timing.
In my book “Don’t Bring It To Work,” on pages 141-142, you can learn how Mark Twain became a great model of using humor in difficult situations.
Let me know if you have any great jokes to help lower the tension in meetings.
Here’s to your success,
PS. Grab a copy of my new book “Invisible Stress (It’s NOT What YOU Think), for more information about pattern transformation.