Word-Of-the-Week #682: Guffaw

August 31, 2017 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #682: Guffaw 

Guffaw – a hearty, boisterous burst of laughter.

When was the last time you experienced true, unforced laughter? Do you remember what triggered it and how it made you feel? Do you know that laughter can have a positive impact on your health?

This Chicago Tribune article by Marissa Levin, “FUNNY BUSINESS Cutting up at work offers host of benefits. Corporate America needs to loosen up” is so on target and a major point I make in my speeches.

“According to research from Wharton, MIT and the London Business School, giggles and guffaws offer several business benefits. Laughter can relieve stress and boredom, boost engagement and well-being and spur not only creativity and collaboration, but also focus and productivity, Harvard Business Review notes.

Babies laugh about 400 times a day; people over 35, only 15, Harvard reports. A recent study of Gallup data for the U.S. found that we laugh significantly less on weekdays than we do on the weekends.

With the onslaught of negative information coming at us these days, going to an office that values fun helps us to maintain perspective and optimism.

At my first company, Information Experts, we had a Good Times Committee (GTC) that was responsible for planning fun events. We had a line item in our budget for fun. No matter what the day held, we knew there would be some laughter along the way.

  • This week features 2 ways workplace goofiness can improve your culture and bottom line.

Laughter keeps us focused on tasks.

In a study, psychological scientists David Cheng and Lu Wang of the University of New South Wales found that people who watched a funny video clip spent twice as long on a tedious task compared to people who watched neutral or positive (but not funny) videos.

“There has been increasing recognition that humor may have a functional impact on important behaviors in the workplace, and that exposure to humor may increase the effectiveness of employees,” Cheng and Wang write.

Laughter is a great natural team builder.

A study from the staffing firm Accountemps revealed that nearly 80 percent of executives said an employee’s sense of humor is important for fitting into the company’s corporate culture.

Mike Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps, said an employee’s sense of humor can boost morale and improve connections with co-workers.

  • “Creating a positive and friendly work environment can lead to higher levels of employee engagement and productivity.”

Humor also can lighten the mood when something goes wrong.

  • “Not all business matters are funny, but a little levity can go a long way, particularly when it comes to defusing tension or recovering from a minor mishap,” he said. “There’s nothing like a joke to put people at ease.”

This week is all about guffaws. How would you rate your sense of humor? How often do you laugh in any given day? Do you work in a positive friendly environment? Are you fully engaged and productive?

Stay Tuned! Next week 2 more ways workplace goofiness can improve your culture and bottom line.

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WOW Word-Of-the-Week #381: Guffaw

November 22, 2011 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #381: Guffaw 

Guffaw – a hearty, boisterous burst of laughter.

When was the last time you experienced true, unforced laughter? Do you remember what triggered it and how it made you feel? Do you know that laughter can have a positive impact on your health?

This week’s WOW is the polar opposite of last weeks on upsets. It’s important to have balance! In a Washington Post article titled, “HEALING POWER OF LAUGHTER – IT’S NO JOKE : Research shows a good yuk helps immune system, reduces stress” author Carolyn Butler writes, “There is a growing body of research indicating that a good guffaw may improve immune function, help lower blood pressure, boost mood and reduce stress and depression.

“A new study from Oxford University supports a long-held theory that laughter triggers an increase in endorphins, the brain chemicals that can help you feel good, distract you from pain and maybe deliver other health benefits. Research shows that people who laugh need less pain medication after surgery.”

Grandaughter Guffaw

“The key is that real, true, unforced laughter is an energetic, stressful activity that stirs up all of our physiological systems …involving strong vocalization, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and muscle contractions all over the body,” says Robert Provine, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland. Endorphins are released only when we laugh till it hurts.”

Provine goes on to say, “Real laughter is unconscious – you don’t decide to laugh; it just happens And when you laugh, you’re almost always in the presence of another person, whether they’re physically present or imagined on radio or TV. Laughter in social settings is 30 times as common as when a person is alone.” People are far more likely to giggle when others do. It could be that it’s the playful interaction with friends, family and lovers that makes the difference.”

For my long time subscribers and audience members you’ve heard this before. And I don’t think we can be reminded too often about the benefits of hearty laughter. So this week focus on who you laugh with. Is it one of your favorite customers, guests, members or clients? Is it one your family members? Or is it one of your friends? The Holidays don’t have to cause “upsets.”  All you have to do is stay balanced with some good guffaws!