The fifth and final sense in this series is Sense of Humor. The online dictionary defines sense of humor as the ability to perceive humor or appreciate a joke. I think Merriam-Webster’s definition is a bit closer to the true meaning: a personality that gives someone the ability to say funny things and see the funny side of things.
I have worked with and worked for people who were stoic and completely void of a sense of humor. When they were present, any sign of humor, or laughter was as if someone had committed a felony against them. These are typically people who have greater health problems later in life, and they are typically the people who get phased out of companies during restructures.
A good sense of humor is so intrinsic to leadership that it should be listed as a skillset on job postings. This doesn’t mean that you need to have a joke handy for every meeting you lead, but it does mean that you should come to that meeting with a smile, humbleness and genuineness. When days are stressful, or projects are not going as planned, your team will appreciate those moments when you can comfortably let down your guard and laugh with them over ridiculous things that have delayed projects, or mistakes you have made. It lets them know you are human.
If you are not embracing a sense of humor in your life, I encourage you to mentor with someone who can lead you down that path to a more joyful you. You’ll be happier, healthier and more respected.
A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done. Dwight D. Eisenhower
A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerated the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable. Billy Graham
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