During the boss’s last weekly staff meeting, everyone was texting just below the conference table. He thought the sudden cheer by two employees meant he’d said something clever (when it was really a score in a Brazilian soccer game).
There’s a reason why motivational speakers start with a joke or a humorous anecdote — it captures the audience’s attention, lightens the mood, sets positive expectations and motivates everyone to be more productive. In a study from the Journal of Applied Psychology, just one use of humor among work teams resulted in improved performance not just immediately, but up to two years later. Levity also improves recall. It is often the shortest pipeline to the memory banks.