[November 21, 2018] There are a lot of things leaders do to make themselves approachable.1 They do this for many reasons; all of which have to do with acting as a catalyst to get the mission accomplished and taking care of people. One thing all good leaders do is laugh at other people’s jokes.
Of course, this idea is only to highlight that there are many things a leader does to attract people to them. For example, we know that complimenting others is what makes happy and that the leader is listening to them. It makes it seem as if the leader gets them as a person. If you want to see this in action, watch standup comedy or improv.
Laughter and happiness are habits and the more you can cultivate them in others the better you’ll get at it as a leader. The better you get at this the more people will enjoy being around you. This attracts even more people to you because you make them feel better.
One way to do this is through the use of playful teasing by poking fun and self-deprecating humor to get everyone on the same social level. In today’s world where everything is taken as an offense, a leader should take great care in its use. Also, be cautious not to attack someone’s identity or tease something that is important to them; it serves no useful purpose.
Laughing at other people’s jokes means more than a simple laugh but a deep, overly appreciative laugh is required. Frequent practice around strong friends and family will be beneficial; especially if you request constructive feedback.
Sincere praise is a great way to begin any conversation involving jokes and is a great way to bring people to your side. This praise must be sincere or it will backfire and have unfortunate and unpredictable results. It allows a leader to use humor but only after it is established you are no threat. So, beware.
Humor is a great motivator. Its value goes beyond making people feel good. It is actually good physically and psychologically. And, for the leader, it pulls people to a leader who is effective in its use.