When one thinks of words associated with business and business relationships, humour and laughter would scarcely be top of the list. Indeed, the phrase ‘let’s get down to business’ is often used to demarcate the end of such pleasantries.
There is a time to be serious in business, of course, but at NV we often use the phrase ‘learning through laughter’ as we believe well-placed humour can disarm - and ultimately engage – an audience. Consider that when participants are laughing, they’re listening and the joy of laughter is one of our most rudimentary instincts.
After all, we learn to laugh before we learn to speak, and our response to humour together with the development of our own style, play a vital role in healthy brain development and accompanying intelligence. At around 3 months the first laughter is evoked by ‘peek-a-boo’ and other simple surprise games, and from around 18 months to the age of 3 we discover that we can make others laugh by, for example, face-pulling. As we approach our 5th birthday we can start to recognise the more nuanced humour specific to speech, and then begins the long and complicated process of trying to make others laugh in this way.
This can be a lifetime study, as a good sense of humour is often regarded as one of the most important aspects of both personal and professional relationships.
The efficacy of humour should not be underestimated. To quote Victor Borge “laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”