counter Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (and How Anyone Can Harness It. Even You.) - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (and How Anyone Can Harness It. Even You.)

Availability: Ready to download

Anyone--even you!--can learn how to harness the power of humor in business (and life), based on the popular class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Working professionals have fallen off a humor cliff. In fact, around the time we enter the workforce, the number of times we laugh and smile on an average day statistically starts to plummet. And yet, research shows that Anyone--even you!--can learn how to harness the power of humor in business (and life), based on the popular class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Working professionals have fallen off a humor cliff. In fact, around the time we enter the workforce, the number of times we laugh and smile on an average day statistically starts to plummet. And yet, research shows that humor is one of the most powerful tools we have for accomplishing serious work. Studies reveal that humor makes us appear more competent and confident, strengthens relationships, unlocks creativity, and boosts our resilience during difficult times. Plus, it fends off a permanent and unsightly frown known as "resting boss face". Top executives are in on the secret: 98 percent prefer employees with a sense of humor, and 84 percent believe that these employees do better work. But even for those who intuitively understand humor's power, few know how to wield it with intention. As a result, humor is vastly underleveraged in most workplaces today, impacting our performance, relationships, and health. That's why Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas teach the popular course Humor: Serious Business at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where they help some of the world's most hard-driving, blazer-wearing business minds build levity into their organizations and lives. In Humor, Seriously, they draw on findings by behavioral scientists, world-class comedians, and inspiring business leaders to reveal how humor works and--more important--how you can use it more often and effectively Aaker and Bagdonas unpack the theory and application of humor: what makes something funny and how to mine your life for material. They show how to use humor to make a strong first impression, deliver difficult feedback, persuade and motivate others, and foster cultures where levity and creativity can thrive--not to mention, how to keep it appropriate and recover if you cross a line. President Dwight David Eisenhower once said, "A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done." If Eisenhower, the second least naturally funny president ever (after Franklin Pierce), thought humor was necessary to win wars, build highways, and warn against the military-industrial complex, then you might consider learning it too. Seriously.


Compare

Anyone--even you!--can learn how to harness the power of humor in business (and life), based on the popular class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Working professionals have fallen off a humor cliff. In fact, around the time we enter the workforce, the number of times we laugh and smile on an average day statistically starts to plummet. And yet, research shows that Anyone--even you!--can learn how to harness the power of humor in business (and life), based on the popular class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Working professionals have fallen off a humor cliff. In fact, around the time we enter the workforce, the number of times we laugh and smile on an average day statistically starts to plummet. And yet, research shows that humor is one of the most powerful tools we have for accomplishing serious work. Studies reveal that humor makes us appear more competent and confident, strengthens relationships, unlocks creativity, and boosts our resilience during difficult times. Plus, it fends off a permanent and unsightly frown known as "resting boss face". Top executives are in on the secret: 98 percent prefer employees with a sense of humor, and 84 percent believe that these employees do better work. But even for those who intuitively understand humor's power, few know how to wield it with intention. As a result, humor is vastly underleveraged in most workplaces today, impacting our performance, relationships, and health. That's why Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas teach the popular course Humor: Serious Business at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where they help some of the world's most hard-driving, blazer-wearing business minds build levity into their organizations and lives. In Humor, Seriously, they draw on findings by behavioral scientists, world-class comedians, and inspiring business leaders to reveal how humor works and--more important--how you can use it more often and effectively Aaker and Bagdonas unpack the theory and application of humor: what makes something funny and how to mine your life for material. They show how to use humor to make a strong first impression, deliver difficult feedback, persuade and motivate others, and foster cultures where levity and creativity can thrive--not to mention, how to keep it appropriate and recover if you cross a line. President Dwight David Eisenhower once said, "A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done." If Eisenhower, the second least naturally funny president ever (after Franklin Pierce), thought humor was necessary to win wars, build highways, and warn against the military-industrial complex, then you might consider learning it too. Seriously.

30 review for Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (and How Anyone Can Harness It. Even You.)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This book is aimed directly at corporate America which, if these authors are to be believed, is suffering from a sense-of-humour bypass so soul-sucking that it turns anyone who works within it into deadpan, management-speaking zombies within days. The book is full of anecdotes revealing how a little levity can reanimate said zombies who will go on to have stellar careers simply because of some self-depreciating quip they once made in an email. I have my doubts. In true corporate style, the author This book is aimed directly at corporate America which, if these authors are to be believed, is suffering from a sense-of-humour bypass so soul-sucking that it turns anyone who works within it into deadpan, management-speaking zombies within days. The book is full of anecdotes revealing how a little levity can reanimate said zombies who will go on to have stellar careers simply because of some self-depreciating quip they once made in an email. I have my doubts. In true corporate style, the authors provide a detailed analysis of humour and how to cultivate it in chapters such as: The Anatomy of Funny; Leading with Humour; and Creating a Culture of Levity. It amazes me that a book on humour can be THIS dull. The book also references a lot of American sporting figures and, so very predictably, a brace of baseball metaphors, which will mean little to non-American readers. At the opposite end of the American workplace spectrum are the supposedly creative, ‘playful’ environments of Silicon Valley giants such as Google or Pixar where staff are encouraged to play pranks on each other, have fancy-dress Friday or have scooter races along the corridors, all of which would Drive. Me. Up. The. Wall! I bought this book thinking it would be a light-hearted read. I was wrong. There is no question that humour is an important stress-reliever but if someone feels like they’ve lost their funny bone – understandable during this exhausting year – they won’t find it in this book. I suggest instead checking out old Laurel and Hardy films on YouTube because they’re still laugh-out-loud funny after all these years.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Siqahiqa

    "Of course, we shouldn't go for funny all the time." Not everyone is funny in the same way." Am I a funny person? I believe I'm not 🙈 I'm a serious person and become more serious while working or occupied with some tasks. This book is not about telling jokes or even be funny. In fact, this book is not funny, seriously. It is all about why humour is so powerful and how we can use more of it, delivering funny moments at work despite all the seriousness. One of the authors, Aaker, realized that hum "Of course, we shouldn't go for funny all the time." Not everyone is funny in the same way." Am I a funny person? I believe I'm not 🙈 I'm a serious person and become more serious while working or occupied with some tasks. This book is not about telling jokes or even be funny. In fact, this book is not funny, seriously. It is all about why humour is so powerful and how we can use more of it, delivering funny moments at work despite all the seriousness. One of the authors, Aaker, realized that humour could drive people in a way she never imagined. That’s why she started to study humor and interviewed many people, including comedians. This book is very informative and made me realized that there are many things to learn about humour. Some of the interesting facts are the four humour styles and four common misperceptions or humour myths. Two humour myths that I faced are the failure myth (fear for our humour will fail) and the being funny myth (to use humour, you have to ”be funny”). This book also teaches that sometimes, be true to someone is also one of the ways to be funny. The writing style is direct, but I didn’t quite understand the whole concept. Sorry to say that this book did not work well for me. But two chapters that I liked the most are chapter 4 (Putting Your Funny to Work) and chapter 7.5 (Why Humour is a Secret Weapon in Life). Nevertheless, this book is useful to spark self-awareness about humour in our life and work. Highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know in-depth about humour and for you who work with people, especially if you are at a higher level in the organization. Leaders can use levity amid serious issues at the workplace so that your people would not scare to talk anything to you. One quote that I liked from this book; "My job as a leader isn't to prevent mistakes from happening; my job as a leader is to correct them as quickly as possible when they do happen. However, if nobody feels comfortable bringing me the bad news - it's going to take me a lot longer to correct mistakes." All leaders should have this kind of thought 👍🏻. Rating: 3/5 ⭐️ Thank you, Times Read, for providing me with the review copy ✨ instagram.com/siriusiqa

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bakertyl

    Without trying to be an asshole, not a funny book. But informative, entertaining, and direct. If you work with people this is a great look at how personal relationships are improved with humor. **I received this story early from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    nadiaizzaty

    Q: “ When was the last time you really laughed? “ - ( pg 21 ). A: When I read this question , I keep on thinking when was I 💯 laughed really hard and it turned up none . 😅 • Even this book have “humour “ on it title please don’t expect you will be laughing all the way while reading it . 😂 . But, surprisingly, I really enjoyed reading this gem 📖. Maybe because lots of the points or chapter relatable mostly with my working environment . 😁 . Oh, I like the writing style which is easy to understand. • In Q: “ When was the last time you really laughed? “ - ( pg 21 ). A: When I read this question , I keep on thinking when was I 💯 laughed really hard and it turned up none . 😅 • Even this book have “humour “ on it title please don’t expect you will be laughing all the way while reading it . 😂 . But, surprisingly, I really enjoyed reading this gem 📖. Maybe because lots of the points or chapter relatable mostly with my working environment . 😁 . Oh, I like the writing style which is easy to understand. • Indeed , in our life , we really need at least a little bit of humour to avoid anxiety, stressful , boring and dull situation. But, “ ... we shouldn’t go funny all the time - that would be exhausting “ ( pg 25 ) 👍🏻 • The book talks about how humour : * Can effect our health. * Can effect the tenderness between leader and staff. * Can create “ fun at work” environment . * Can improve performance. * Make us think out of the box or be more creative. * Can make any discussion, training , video more interesting .Automatically, the points or information on that particular topics make people remember easily. * Make any introduction or goodbye more lasting with positive impressions. * Can break the uneasiness. There’s also some information that been discussed in the book such as the humour style , benefit of laughter in workplace, the myth of humour, the archetypes ( which means type of employees who create a humour culture ) , when to use humour without cross the line and more. • I strongly recommend this book to those who want to know in details about humour and levity , who want to implement humour in the organisation/ business and leaders who wish to create a fun at work environment . I wish I could write much longer but there’s not enough space . 😭 • Love this quote : “ A culture that balances serious work with levity and play can actually improve team performance . “ 👍🏻 #canIworkwithGoogleteam? 🤭 Rating : 4/5 star ⭐️ • Thank you @putrifariza & @times.reads for providing me this review copy. 😍 P/s : swipe next for the book snippets. #nadianiabookreview #nonfictionbooks

  5. 5 out of 5

    Reed Hansen

    Really enjoyed this. I think humor is underutilized in the workplace and professional settings. I am immediately suspicious of people with no sense of humor.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Boughton

    Embrace levity. Laughter brings us closer together, it builds relationships and helps us embrace the positivity in our life at work, our relationships and our character. Backed up by extensive research, Humour Seriously is an excellent tool for improving your leadership potential by understanding how you can use humour to gain power in a situation and/or use it to down-play your power. The higher up your role in an organisation the more distance is perceived between you and your subordinates. By Embrace levity. Laughter brings us closer together, it builds relationships and helps us embrace the positivity in our life at work, our relationships and our character. Backed up by extensive research, Humour Seriously is an excellent tool for improving your leadership potential by understanding how you can use humour to gain power in a situation and/or use it to down-play your power. The higher up your role in an organisation the more distance is perceived between you and your subordinates. By incorporating a little levity into the workplace, you can achieve greater employee satisfaction without compromising the quality of output. It will also make your job so much more enjoyable. I loved reading this book

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chance

    A book we all need in these divisive times.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Yash Raghuwansi

    Would've better served the material as a blog post rather than a book. Would've better served the material as a blog post rather than a book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ronald J.

    “The law of levity is allowed to supersede the law of gravity,” according to R. A. Lafferty. This is an enjoyable book about the importance of humor in the workplace. The authors make the case that it might become one of the greatest competitive advantages in business. “Could it deepen relationships, make people more effective and joyful at work, and fundamentally transform companies—and maybe even the world?” You’ll have to make up your own mind if they are convincing or not. No doubt the autho “The law of levity is allowed to supersede the law of gravity,” according to R. A. Lafferty. This is an enjoyable book about the importance of humor in the workplace. The authors make the case that it might become one of the greatest competitive advantages in business. “Could it deepen relationships, make people more effective and joyful at work, and fundamentally transform companies—and maybe even the world?” You’ll have to make up your own mind if they are convincing or not. No doubt the authors are right when they say, “Humor charms and disarms. Even small gestures of levity are powerful in negotiations, in part because they spark human connection—and when we connect as people, we often get more of what we both want.” I enjoyed the story of Deloitte’s writing of a program that sifted through emails and documents catching “BS” business words, called “Bullfighter.” There’s a great story of a consultant who pulls out the CIA’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual, “a set of guidelines devised by U.S. government officials to sabotage terrorist organizations from the inside. Originally developed by the OSS during World War II, the Simple Sabotage Field Manual is a guide for, as the CIA puts it, “teaching people how to do their jobs badly.” To undermine the operations and efficiency of a terrorist cell—or a typical American board meeting: When possible, refer all matters to committees for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large as possible—no fewer than five people. Make speeches. Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Haggle over the precise wording of communications, minutes, resolutions. Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible. Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to reopen the question of the advisability of that decision.” We do this “to wreak havoc in our own companies. I’m not sure if all the studies cited would fail the replication process or not, but is there doubt that humor is part of the human experience. I remember seeing a sign on a Morgue’s door that read: “Our day begins when yours ends.” Many found it offensive; I found it hilarious. We need more of it in business. Memorable Lines From Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address: “The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in freshwater. But the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater.” He paused. “I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.” Hiroki Asai, head of Apple’s Creative Design Studio: “Fear is the greatest killer of creativity,” and humor is the most effective tool I’ve found for insulating cultures from fear.” “I’m struck by how laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter.” —John Cleese

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    One of the most depressing book's I've ever read. I struggled through to the end in an almost ironic way marvelling that a book could be this bad. The execrable attempts at "humor" in the opening chapter were off-putting - were they deliberately being unfunny? This is a miserable marriage of a self-help and a business advice book. There was one hilarious line in the book which I didn't write down but went something like this after the relating of a tedious anecdote"....this is an example of the One of the most depressing book's I've ever read. I struggled through to the end in an almost ironic way marvelling that a book could be this bad. The execrable attempts at "humor" in the opening chapter were off-putting - were they deliberately being unfunny? This is a miserable marriage of a self-help and a business advice book. There was one hilarious line in the book which I didn't write down but went something like this after the relating of a tedious anecdote"....this is an example of the way humor can be leveraged in the workplace". This conjured the image of some desperate, humourless corporate drudge earnestly following the lessons of this book to gain advantage in the workplace, if so, I pity the poor fool's colleagues.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Lovato

    Humor, Seriously is a business book using humor, seriously Posted on February 21, 2021 by michellelovatosbookreviews, world's first book color commentator, book reviews with a twist Enduring an over-serious workplace can be employment fatal to most human beings involved in the fine art of making a living. Dour dispositions, dive-bomb professional development, and disgustingly disturbing days provide people problematically putrid personal positions. Thank the good Lord, authors Jennifer Aaker and Nao Humor, Seriously is a business book using humor, seriously Posted on February 21, 2021 by michellelovatosbookreviews, world's first book color commentator, book reviews with a twist Enduring an over-serious workplace can be employment fatal to most human beings involved in the fine art of making a living. Dour dispositions, dive-bomb professional development, and disgustingly disturbing days provide people problematically putrid personal positions. Thank the good Lord, authors Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas created Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (And how anyone can harness it. Even you.) We all better hope this book is funny. Otherwise, that crazy-long title will be a total lie about the rest of the book. In this serious business book, authors Aaker and Bagdonas approach the unusual subject of using humor in the workplace to harness a powerful series of employee results. According to these ladies who teach “Humor: Serious Business,” at Stanford Graduate School of Business, using humor effectively in the workplace can substantially impact performance, unleash bound employee creativity, enhance competence and confidence, along with improving overall performance. Sounds good to me. Aaker and Bagdonas teach that proper use of humor is vastly underleveraged and one of the most useful business tools in use today. Though this fascinating book sounds like a stand-up comedy routine, its pages are stuffed with down-to-earth, downright serious research, and heavily-founded business facts. Humor, Seriously is one of those books that, in my humble but extremely busy opinion, is better on audio; simply because it’s far easier to digest large pieces of business-altering information, regardless of its seriousness, in bits at a time and while on the run. Most business people I know commute, attempt exercise, wait, wait, and wait some more, regardless of where they happen to be at any given time, and certainly lack the energy to stay awake day and night for weeks on end trying to boost their office situation. Sometimes, there isn’t enough caffeine in existence to enable that level of comprehension and learning. Good there an audio copy of Humor, Seriously ready for download 24-hours a day. But as a black-and-white traditional paper shelf-topper, Humor, Seriously has its place for future reference and reminder, which is one of the tools I use to refresh my memory after waking up from hibernation, or perhaps, too much caffeine. Humor, Seriously is an exceptional book containing Aaker and Bagdonas’ full theory of how to use the often workplace-elusive skill to your full future advantage. Here’s my problem with this book: I’d love to use humor with my employee pool. I’d love to unleash creativity, impel stronger work, boost productivity. And obviously, make a lot more money. But, to attain that dreamy goal, I need a business. [email protected] [email protected] Happy are those who respect the Lord and obey him. You will enjoy what you work for, and you will be blessed with good things. Psalm 128: 1-2

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aayushi Gupta

    When I read the blurb of this book, I was immediately interested in reading it. Humor in workplace (and in life) is such an important but rarely talked about topic. While numerous career and workplace related books talk about communication, storytelling and negotiation, hardly anyone talks about wielding this amazingly powerful but a tad bit risky tool. What’s more interesting is the fact that this book has been written by professors at one of the best business schools in the world, where it is When I read the blurb of this book, I was immediately interested in reading it. Humor in workplace (and in life) is such an important but rarely talked about topic. While numerous career and workplace related books talk about communication, storytelling and negotiation, hardly anyone talks about wielding this amazingly powerful but a tad bit risky tool. What’s more interesting is the fact that this book has been written by professors at one of the best business schools in the world, where it is taught as a very popular course. Having been a business student myself, I was extremely excited about reading this book! Humor, Seriously is a short, powerful and immensely entertaining read – yes, the authors have definitely got an amazing sense of humor themselves. In just 272 pages, the authors Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas give a complete and detailed insight into the importance of humor in workplace, the common misconceptions related to it, how to identify your own humor style and employ it tactfully, and how to avoid and recover from humor fails. And when they say humor, they do not mean cracking jokes that send your colleagues rolling on the floor laughing. Rather, this book focusses on identifying and encouraging fun and light-heartedness in formal communication as a means of forming better relationships and relieving stress. Like many other people, I had my reservations about reading a book dealing with humor – I am not a witty or a funny person, am I supposed to crack jokes at workplace to be more likeable now? This book deal marvelously with the “nature vs. nurture” debate when it comes to having a sense of humor. It also talks about how our personal style of humor varies significantly with the kind of company we are in (as it should) and our position, and how each and everyone of us can contribute in their own way in finding joy in our everyday lives. The authors have taken lessons from multiple stand up comedians to understand how to infuse humor in everyday situations, while taking care not to commit a humor faux-pas. The varied real-life examples contained in this book sufficiently explain how to handle humor tactfully, without being insensitive or rude, and how to gracefully handle any errors. I especially loved the overall writing and presentation style – the gorgeous blue cover, the hilarious footnotes and the quirky freehand graphs and Venn diagrams! I flew through the book and enjoyed it thoroughly – as I am sure most of you will.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Much needed book especially if your always reading dry technically stuff. What my 👂 heard ⤵️ global wealth distribution meaningful listen caffeine fueled business mind if you're leading and no one is following you're just taking a walk badass business Titan I have a optimistic bent to my humor I like sharing small dry technical language somewhere baby cried and record screeched my final offer is x and I'll throw in my pet frog if people are laughing that means they are paying attention creativity is intelli Much needed book especially if your always reading dry technically stuff. What my 👂 heard ⤵️ global wealth distribution meaningful listen caffeine fueled business mind if you're leading and no one is following you're just taking a walk badass business Titan I have a optimistic bent to my humor I like sharing small dry technical language somewhere baby cried and record screeched my final offer is x and I'll throw in my pet frog if people are laughing that means they are paying attention creativity is intelligence having fun I'm so sorry I'm late I didn't want to come ranch dressing is called salad frosting it's as if the connective tissue of an analogy suddenly I'm less clear you are the person filtering your business to you over and over again I want my website to be like the dark web if you ask for something I got it laughter is good for thinking because when people laugh it is easier for them to admit new ideas to their minds today's employees yearn for leaders who are less mysteriously brilliant and more authentically relatable aspirational yes but not without flaws emerging research from Stanford suggests that people who interpret challenges from their lives both positive and negative as comedies as opposed to tragedies or dramas for feeling less stressed more energetic challenged and fulfilled we cannot leave if we cannot learn pedestals are out and approachable is in we all want to have our wins celebrated a mischievous grin joy and humor speed up the process to trust and respect a textbook instigator you got a low act rate we need to take a larger cultural swing at it as humans we get very good at contex switching as you move up on the totem pole make fun of others lesson yourself more what you view as intimacy enhancing teasing might hurt or offend do things that make you happy only within the confines of the legal system it's not important to be funny it's important people have fun being with you if you get in the habit of your life being fun if you move through life believing it's supposed to be that way you'll notice when it's not the inverse is true too if you get in the habit of lide not being fun you start to not even notice because that's what you're used to if you've got love present humor isn't that far behind our brains only are 2% of our body weight will consume 20% of our energy consumption my favorite thing to do is gossip about others with others the verbally astute

  14. 4 out of 5

    Roland Curit

    I purchased this book because my work life, all remote for a year now, has become routinely stale with limited human interaction, and recently more stressful with significant deadlines looming. The book focuses primarily on how to use humor in business to get ahead, but the information also applies to living a less stressful life in general. As I frequently do, I tagged the quotes that resonated with me. Here are a few. “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh” – Mya Angelo. Laughter is a shared I purchased this book because my work life, all remote for a year now, has become routinely stale with limited human interaction, and recently more stressful with significant deadlines looming. The book focuses primarily on how to use humor in business to get ahead, but the information also applies to living a less stressful life in general. As I frequently do, I tagged the quotes that resonated with me. Here are a few. “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh” – Mya Angelo. Laughter is a shared communication that two people find humor in a topic. How can you trust someone who is unwilling or incapable of opening that line of communication? “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein. The book constantly promotes a direct correlation between truth and humor; hence one exists between intelligence and creativity. “A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.” – Henry Ward Beecher. Those that fret every detail don’t have time for humor. Those with a sense of humor are more likely to laugh at the small stuff and move on to more pressing issues. I found this next insight particularly interesting. The higher one climbs on the corporate ladder, the more self-deprecating the jokes must become. The CEO of a business cannot afford to joke at subordinate’s expense without the appearance of punching down. He or she should resort to self-deprecating jokes to appear more human and relatable to the organization. In the end, I didn’t find too many useful take-aways, but I do plan to employ one tactic this week. When taking a day off from work, we typically leave automatic Out-of-Office email messages. These tend to be boring and to the point. This is an excellent time to add humor to a routinely mundane task. Wish me luck on my 3-day weekend. I hope to still be employed come Monday.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jason Wrench

    I want to first thank the author and publisher for the opportunity to read Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (and How Anyone Can Harness It. Even You.) by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas before its publication. Even though I am thankful for their kindness, I did not let it influence my evaluation of this book. Let me start by saying that I've been studying humor since the late 1990s. I've authored and co-authored a number of academic studies and chapters on th I want to first thank the author and publisher for the opportunity to read Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (and How Anyone Can Harness It. Even You.) by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas before its publication. Even though I am thankful for their kindness, I did not let it influence my evaluation of this book. Let me start by saying that I've been studying humor since the late 1990s. I've authored and co-authored a number of academic studies and chapters on this subject, so this is an area of great interest and specialty of mine, which was why I was interested in this book. If you're looking for a well-researched book on the subject, this is not that book. There are better academic texts on the subject of humor in the workplace and in your life with more up-to-date references. After reading this book, I would argue this book is meant for laypeople who have no background in the study of humor and are interested in its positive benefits in their personal and professional lives. The book is only 7 (and a half) chapters long, so it's not designed to be overly taxing on readers. One thing I really did like about the book was the numerous examples pulled from a wide range of sources. Some of the examples I'd seen and many I hadn't, so it was fun to see how the authors were able to incorporate these within the book. Overall, as someone who studies humor, I definitely think this book is worth reading for any lay-reader. If you just want to understand how humor works or how you can use humor in your own life to succeed, I would recommend this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Julien Sobczak

    Your workplace is eager to discover how funny you are. I always tried to bring some humor at work (my coworkers will probably disagree on that). I love my developer job but my daily tasks are rarely as fun as they could be and spreading joy using humor helps me get through this. Making someone smile is more fulfilling than making code run in those situations. In reading this book, it becomes obvious that humor fades very quickly as you move up the corporate ladder. I can’t remember the last time Your workplace is eager to discover how funny you are. I always tried to bring some humor at work (my coworkers will probably disagree on that). I love my developer job but my daily tasks are rarely as fun as they could be and spreading joy using humor helps me get through this. Making someone smile is more fulfilling than making code run in those situations. In reading this book, it becomes obvious that humor fades very quickly as you move up the corporate ladder. I can’t remember the last time I heard my CEO laugh, loudly and naturally. Most leaders sadly believe that gravity and levity are at odds in the workplace. This way of thinking is stupid and based on the extensive researches conducted by the authors, vastly detrimental. This book was published recently but I have no doubt it will have a huge impact. Humor can be learned like any other skill. And if we consider the time we spend at work, we have plentiful time to practice and perfect this life-changing skill. You will learn in this book why humor at work is a superpower, and how to get started with practical tips. It’s not so hard. Smiling is a good start. The best books are the ones that feel too short when you reach the last page. This book is way too short... I was hoping for more anecdotes, more stories, more lessons. But above all, I hope that so many more readers will hold a copy of this book. You don’t need a cup of coffee to find the energy to reach your workplace. You need humor, seriously.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris Boutté

    I'm a recovering drug addict with 8 years sober, and when I got clean, I was miserable, and there was nothing funny about life. Eventually, I learned how important it is to not take life too seriously, and that's why I decided to pick up this book. I love psychology, and I love to joke around, so I had to get this book from Aaker and Bagdonas. In their book, they discuss everything from the psychology of humor to good practices for using it in the work place. I've worked in rehab facilities wher I'm a recovering drug addict with 8 years sober, and when I got clean, I was miserable, and there was nothing funny about life. Eventually, I learned how important it is to not take life too seriously, and that's why I decided to pick up this book. I love psychology, and I love to joke around, so I had to get this book from Aaker and Bagdonas. In their book, they discuss everything from the psychology of humor to good practices for using it in the work place. I've worked in rehab facilities where you deal with mental illness, suffering, and a lot of death, and one way I was able to connect with clients was through humor, and that's why everyone needs this book.  Personally, this book just helped confirm a lot of things I already do, but that provided me with a ton of value. Sometimes I question trying to lighten the mood and cheer colleagues up when we're dealing with a work disaster. But if you're someone who is socially awkward and/or introverted, you definitely need this book. Aaker and Bagdonas give you practical tips to help you feel more comfortable loosening up at your own pace and they also teach you how to walk the fine line between humor and upsetting people. I really hope a lot of companies read this book because it benefits people in all aspects of an organization and it'll help people realize that life and work can be fun while we also handle business.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dao Le

    Highly entertaining and useful read on the value of humor and levity, backed by quality and rigorous research. Although the title says "in business and life," it was more about in business as the authors' expertise is about organizational behavior. I find the chapter about the anatomy of funny most useful with a quick summary below: - At the heart of humor is truth - All humor contains surprise and misdirection (i.e., humor comes from the incongruity between what we expect and what actually happen Highly entertaining and useful read on the value of humor and levity, backed by quality and rigorous research. Although the title says "in business and life," it was more about in business as the authors' expertise is about organizational behavior. I find the chapter about the anatomy of funny most useful with a quick summary below: - At the heart of humor is truth - All humor contains surprise and misdirection (i.e., humor comes from the incongruity between what we expect and what actually happens - To find the funny, notice (i) differences (incongruity); (ii) emotion; (iii) opinion; (iv) pain; and (v) delight - To form the funny: (i) exaggerate; (ii) create contrast; (iii) use specifics; (iv) make analogies; and (v) follow the "rule of three" (list two normal elements, then add an unexpected third element) - To be spontaneously funny, notice the here and now and use callbacks (important) - Tips to deliver the funny: pause before the punch, act it out, dial up the drama, repeat funny lines, and land with confidence - Punch up, not punch down. If you're a leader, use self-deprecating humor.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jason Shaw

    Humor, Seriously helped me realize how deficient my life is of humor, and gave me a few simple ideas and areas in which I can insert it. One of the chapters was about emails at work. The authors produced a few emails I get quite often with nearly the exact wording. Whenever I get these emails, I get a kick out of how supremely generic they sound and, if I ever get around to having to send one, how mine would be different. Then I thought, "why wait?" Today I sent an email I have to send every month Humor, Seriously helped me realize how deficient my life is of humor, and gave me a few simple ideas and areas in which I can insert it. One of the chapters was about emails at work. The authors produced a few emails I get quite often with nearly the exact wording. Whenever I get these emails, I get a kick out of how supremely generic they sound and, if I ever get around to having to send one, how mine would be different. Then I thought, "why wait?" Today I sent an email I have to send every month to a colleague, updating some cash flow forecasts. I'll give it here since it was brief. "Hopefully, you're having a splendid afternoon. If not, here are some updated estimates of our internally managed assets that may help to cheer you up. Cheers!" Most times, I simply get a response similar to "Got it. Updated." This time, I got "Thanks, you just made my day. 😊" In affect, this made my day, too. It was great inserting a little levity into my everyday work activities. The book does a great job in explaining how much more significant of a difference the accumulation of these acts can make.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This was such a fantastic book - so thoughtfully written, easy to read, and full of laugh-out-loud moments. More than that, though, I found its message was so important for me. Humour doesn't always come naturally to me - I often miss when people are joking, or fail to engage because I'm too busy trying to get things done. My jokes would often fall flat and I'd feel nervous to jump in when I had something funny to say. I have found this book to be so impactful. The realisation that you don't need This was such a fantastic book - so thoughtfully written, easy to read, and full of laugh-out-loud moments. More than that, though, I found its message was so important for me. Humour doesn't always come naturally to me - I often miss when people are joking, or fail to engage because I'm too busy trying to get things done. My jokes would often fall flat and I'd feel nervous to jump in when I had something funny to say. I have found this book to be so impactful. The realisation that you don't need to be funny but can just lean in to levity and live on the precipice of a smile has been a game changer for me. Since I started reading I have laughed much more than I have in such a long time, enjoyed time with my family and friends far more than I usually would, coped with my chronic illness much better than I usually do, and had so many positive moments at work - including a meeting with a new employee where I had to give feedback on poor performance. I cannot recommend this book enough, it is wonderful!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael Boyd

    Three biggest takeaways from this book: Levity is just as important as humor. Appropriateness is more important than funniness. There are four types of humorist people, and we can and should be each of these four types, depending on what is appropriate. *Spoiler* (run-on sentence) I've always struggled in the work place with feeling like I can't be myself because I always have to worry about my type of humor, and feeling like I need to be the funny guy and that a "funny guy" is the type of person w Three biggest takeaways from this book: Levity is just as important as humor. Appropriateness is more important than funniness. There are four types of humorist people, and we can and should be each of these four types, depending on what is appropriate. *Spoiler* (run-on sentence) I've always struggled in the work place with feeling like I can't be myself because I always have to worry about my type of humor, and feeling like I need to be the funny guy and that a "funny guy" is the type of person who is a bully who gets away with his or her bullying because, "They're just being funny. There are different types of humor and I don't have to pigeon hold myself by being the "stand up". Being funny isn't the only thing that defines humor. Having a mindset of levity is more important thatn being funny. Also, people in the workplace oftentimes prefer an appropriately joke (timing and context) over a funny joke that is viewed as inappropriate or ill-timed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scott Martin

    (Audiobook) This is primarily a business book, but one that shows the reader how to incorporate humor into the workplace and in business situations. This big takeaways are that to use humor is to not become a professional standup comic, but it can engender trust and goodwill. Especially in the superior/subordinate relationship, the use of humor, particularly from the superior, engenders feelings of trust, and letting the subordinate know that the superior is human and relatable, thus making the (Audiobook) This is primarily a business book, but one that shows the reader how to incorporate humor into the workplace and in business situations. This big takeaways are that to use humor is to not become a professional standup comic, but it can engender trust and goodwill. Especially in the superior/subordinate relationship, the use of humor, particularly from the superior, engenders feelings of trust, and letting the subordinate know that the superior is human and relatable, thus making the relationship stronger and more productive. The authors did their homework, and it shows. While this is not a joke/comic book, it is a useful guide. Granted, much of the advise is common sense, but as life shows, common sense is not always so common. I gave this a higher rating due to the fact that the authors read their own work, which in this case is a bonus. Worth a read for any in business, or those wanting a guide for the use of humor in a professional setting.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Clifton

    Just as "Drive" gives readers a light and informative look at the research behind intrinsic movivation, "Humor, Seriously" gives readers a light and informative look at the research behind humor. The authors are smart enough to keep the book short, practical, and filled with stories. As someone who's spent LOTS of time thinking about workplace culture, I appreciated the insights into the role laughter can play in everything from building trust to thinking creatively (and the practice of making t Just as "Drive" gives readers a light and informative look at the research behind intrinsic movivation, "Humor, Seriously" gives readers a light and informative look at the research behind humor. The authors are smart enough to keep the book short, practical, and filled with stories. As someone who's spent LOTS of time thinking about workplace culture, I appreciated the insights into the role laughter can play in everything from building trust to thinking creatively (and the practice of making that happen). While the research was not exactly surprising, the book read quickly and told some fun/useful stories. Hard to go wrong with that. PS - Much like me, this book tries a *bit* hard to be funny. If the humorous footnotes don't work for you, take a page from how colleagues deal with my constant attempts at levity during Zoom meetings: politely smile and turn the page.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Siv

    “Laughter releases many of the same neurochemicals as a good workout, resulting in a feeling akin to a ‘runner’s high.’ Beyond feeling similarly pleasurable, both also prime us for greater personal connection and resilience to stress. So in a way, Jillian Michaels and Amy Schumer have the same job.” p37 I love to laugh, though I am only ever unintentionally funny. I am funny by vulnerably being my weird self and creating safe space for others to be themselves and make mistakes, too. This book gav “Laughter releases many of the same neurochemicals as a good workout, resulting in a feeling akin to a ‘runner’s high.’ Beyond feeling similarly pleasurable, both also prime us for greater personal connection and resilience to stress. So in a way, Jillian Michaels and Amy Schumer have the same job.” p37 I love to laugh, though I am only ever unintentionally funny. I am funny by vulnerably being my weird self and creating safe space for others to be themselves and make mistakes, too. This book gave me permission to laugh long and hard, especially at myself, in work and life. While it was full of practical insights, the most helpful bit for me was the distinction between levity, humor, and comedy. We can create a mindset (and workplace) of levity even if most of us will never do stand-up comedy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ben Oberholtzer

    First off, I appreciated the humor in the book that was teaching us about the importance of humor. They weren’t all funny to me, but proves the point that the authors were pushing (even attempts at humor increases trust and authenticity). My rating of the book probably is mote relates to this being a more business-y type book, and I just don’t really enjoy reading that genre any more. I absolutely loved the ending where the authors are encouraging humor as a greater part of enjoying and having a First off, I appreciated the humor in the book that was teaching us about the importance of humor. They weren’t all funny to me, but proves the point that the authors were pushing (even attempts at humor increases trust and authenticity). My rating of the book probably is mote relates to this being a more business-y type book, and I just don’t really enjoy reading that genre any more. I absolutely loved the ending where the authors are encouraging humor as a greater part of enjoying and having a meaningful life, which is way more important than the act of laughing at work. Their encouragement to look for the little sparks that can be used for humor in life is a practical and simple way to start on this adventure. I feel like I should end the review with a joke...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

    I agree with the main message of the book and support more humor and levity in the workplace. It was a quick and easy read. I would guess that people who like their humor "edgy" will find the "safe for work" humor in this book uncool and unfunny. I subtract one star for the book's preponderance of tech company anecdotes. Can I please read a business book that doesn't feed me Apple, Google, IDEO, and Pixar examples in every chapter? I deduct another star because the authors only spend a brief chapt I agree with the main message of the book and support more humor and levity in the workplace. It was a quick and easy read. I would guess that people who like their humor "edgy" will find the "safe for work" humor in this book uncool and unfunny. I subtract one star for the book's preponderance of tech company anecdotes. Can I please read a business book that doesn't feed me Apple, Google, IDEO, and Pixar examples in every chapter? I deduct another star because the authors only spend a brief chapter describing how humor attempts go wrong and what to do to repair the situation, but the content is thin and does not address the fact that humor is still used to demean, humiliate, and insult with the meanest intent in the workplace today.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn J. J.

    Likely the best business book I'll read this year - and it's only May. A business colleague and friend sent this book as a gift to thank me for a referral. She got a new client, but I may have gotten the better end of the deal. What a terrific, uplifting, actionable book. The authors provide the science and base understanding of why humor helps in business and life. Their stories and detailed, specific tactics made it easy for me to start incorporating humor immediately, including in a presentati Likely the best business book I'll read this year - and it's only May. A business colleague and friend sent this book as a gift to thank me for a referral. She got a new client, but I may have gotten the better end of the deal. What a terrific, uplifting, actionable book. The authors provide the science and base understanding of why humor helps in business and life. Their stories and detailed, specific tactics made it easy for me to start incorporating humor immediately, including in a presentation I was crafting. It was so much easier to see and seize the opportunities for levity. I'm grateful!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    It’s probably not a surprise that this book is witty. (Especially the charts and graphics and footnotes.) What may be more surprising is how much this book makes you rethink your email sign offs, or the little comments you leave in a Zoom chat. Can I use these to create more levity? If I do, will that make a difference at work? As I think through the colleagues I most enjoy, they are the people it’s possible to be lightly funny with. This book made me aware of that, and made me want to be that k It’s probably not a surprise that this book is witty. (Especially the charts and graphics and footnotes.) What may be more surprising is how much this book makes you rethink your email sign offs, or the little comments you leave in a Zoom chat. Can I use these to create more levity? If I do, will that make a difference at work? As I think through the colleagues I most enjoy, they are the people it’s possible to be lightly funny with. This book made me aware of that, and made me want to be that kind of colleague.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julie Fisher

    Listened on audio. Fun examples of threading humor throughout the workplace and life. Note: Re listen/read to Chapter 7.5: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Life. Create meaning in life through: be bold; authentic--live a life true to myself; be present and savor; joy, not take myself so seriously; love. "Joy is not a happy accident, but a choice we make. A thing we allow ourselves to seek and find it's about being more generous with your laughter and finding more delightful moments in the day when Listened on audio. Fun examples of threading humor throughout the workplace and life. Note: Re listen/read to Chapter 7.5: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Life. Create meaning in life through: be bold; authentic--live a life true to myself; be present and savor; joy, not take myself so seriously; love. "Joy is not a happy accident, but a choice we make. A thing we allow ourselves to seek and find it's about being more generous with your laughter and finding more delightful moments in the day when you don't take yourself to seriously and laugh effortlessly. That's when joy flows"

  30. 5 out of 5

    Martin Mcclanan

    This book works on so many levels. Yes, I love "how to" approach to understand how to construct humor. Yes, I love the nuanced discussion about how to incorporate humor into day to day work conversation. But most importantly, it shows that cat memes have a place at Stanford Business School. Well Done Jennifer Aaker & Naomi Bagdonas. One of the most enjoyable business reads I've had in years. This book works on so many levels. Yes, I love "how to" approach to understand how to construct humor. Yes, I love the nuanced discussion about how to incorporate humor into day to day work conversation. But most importantly, it shows that cat memes have a place at Stanford Business School. Well Done Jennifer Aaker & Naomi Bagdonas. One of the most enjoyable business reads I've had in years.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.