What Happened to Your Sense of Humour?


You know you had it, but when did you or anyone else last see it?

Maybe you lost it during your morning commute; or that endless meeting; or perhaps you lost it when your team didn’t reach the quarterly goals. Perhaps it decided to look for a new home after the last late night email.

Do you care if it’s lost?

What Difference does it make to the way you manage your team?

Who cares about it when you are speaking with your co-workers, and, you certainly don’t use it with your boss.

Life is far too serious to be making jokes and taking things lightly.

Not true. In today’s challenging time your sense of humour will get you through intact. It will also help those around you.

I have a Canadian sense of humour. I didn’t know it was uniquely Canadian until I moved to Europe and discovered that I had to finish almost every sentence with “I’m joking”.

Canadians like to poke gentle and witty fun, often at their own expense to get a chuckle. They love the “double entendre”, word play and puns.

“I think the most attractive thing is a sense of humour. If someone can make you laugh, you’ve gotten a lot out of the way.” Kiefer Sutherland (Canadian)

I have always used humour to lighten the mood, diffuse a difficult situation, establish a relationship, encourage retaliation (tongue in cheek).

I use humour in Business. For those clients who don’t already know me, I’m sure to explain that I take their business very seriously, but, not myself.

Coaching Leaders and Entrepreneurs is a serious business until it’s not. Helping them to laugh at themselves and with me lightens the mood and helps us build the trust, which is crucial to any coaching relationship.

Once they can laugh they also find that their creativity channels open up; ideas come more freely, and, their internal censor gets stuffed into a corner.

Relationships with colleagues also benefit from a daily chuckle or two. How much easier is it to work together when you can laugh together?

So I have a challenge for you. If you want to find your sense of humour and make sure it doesn’t go looking for a new home then start to use it daily.

Find 3 things every day which can be funny…maybe it’s something which annoys you and you can reframe it to be funny…maybe it’s that play on words which you were afraid to mention during the meeting….there can even be humour on your daily commute if you look for it.

What have you got to lose? (chuckle)

If you need help to use humour in business and with your teams, contact me by clicking my eMail Icon below!


Alanea Kowalski
Alanea Kowalski
ALANEA Kowalski is an executive coach with over 25 years of international business experience who focuses on startup or high-change environments particularly with expatriates, women leaders and executives working toward developing global understanding and presence. Her areas of expertise include Financial Services, Pharma and High Tech. She coaches numerous C-suite clients and executives managing cross-cultural teams and working in multinational companies. Alanea has worked for Citibank, and as a consultant in Executive Search, Talent Management and Career Transition. She has worked with clients throughout North America, China, Hong Kong, Russia, the U.K and Europe. Alanea has lived in the UK, Canada and currently she resides in France. She holds multiple coaching certifications: The Coaches Training Institute, Lore International, The First 90 Days (Michael Watkins), The Team Intensive and Coaching Ourselves (Henry Mintzberg). Alanea is on the Advisory Board for ACEC, Association of Corporate and Executive Coaches. She is described by her clients as having the ability to interlace the strategic and creative with the practical. She pushes and challenges her clients to reach the next level using humour as well as her deep understanding of people and business. She takes her work seriously but, not herself. Often Alanea is described as a hybrid Coach and Consultant. One of her favourite phrases is “what if”.

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  1. I like the article. Being Canadian, I’m most likely biased though. Humor is gradually getting eroded away in the workplace from a Political Correctness culture. People are even concerned to make jokes at their own expense because it might offend other employees. Today it’s not what you said, or what you intended to say. It’s all about victims and their perpetrators.

  2. Good points, Alanea. Certainly it isn’t always easy to find humor as we get ground up by daily frustrations and problems. Sometimes it is hard to step away from self and look back in. Some of the best comedians and comediennes have use self depreciation as a core to their humor.

    • Thank you Ken. You are so right…..some days it can be tough to find the humour. That’s why I also follow my “Three things per day rule”.

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