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How to utilize humor successfully in your business communications

For generations all the people have been proverb that laughter is grand medicine. And now the scientists have taken an interest it turns out grand-grandma was right. The boffins have discovered that laughter releases helpful goodies in the body which boost your immune system.

In fact the therapeutic benefits of laughter are now being harnessed by academia and the business community into laughter workshops and other formalized chuckle sessions. Get the workers laughing and you raise productivity, so it seems.

However it is extremely user friendly to get humor wrong. And a joke thats sent to someone who doesnt see the funny side will create more ill health through raised blood pressure than a few laughs could ever cure.

So whats the answer? How do we harness humor and generate it work for us, not against us?

People fairly often say that the internets international nature makes it an unsuitable environment for humor for fear of it not translating across national boundaries and inadvertently causing offense. But there are a couple of simple rules which although not universal panaceas that always work may help you use humor without risk.

Use humor about situations, not many people . If you consider it, the butt of many jokes and other humor is a human or group of people, so its hardly surprising that offense is caused. The more extreme types are understandible - mother-in-law jokes, blonde jokes, women jokes, men jokes but there are many more subtle ones too.

Then there are the nationality gags. I remember in one year hearing exactly the same joke (in three different languages) told by an American about the Polish, by a Canadian about Newfoundlanders, by a French human about Belgians, by a French-speaking Belgian about the Flemish, and by a Flemish human about the Dutch.

Obviously most humor is going to involve all the people in one way or another. But as long as the butt of the joke is a situation or set of circumstances, not the many people , youre far less likely to upset anyone. And there is an added advantage here.

Whoever they are and wherever they come from, many people will usually identify with a situation. Take this one for example
 

 
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