We love to share our thinking and knowledge to help people improve their skills in business, and today Craig reveals how humour can help defuse a situation.
To have the ability to recognise when some well-applied natural humour may shift the tension or become an unblocker for a situation is a skill that can easily be learned.
When I facilitate group discussions with a client there can be a blinding moment when every single person can’t see a way forward. It’s then that a beautiful question, comment or observation shared with the group, designed to lighten the mood and shift people’s perspective, will aid the process.
Defusing a situation and/or conflict may not always be centred around humour, it can be more about making someone smile. Humour happens to be a really good vehicle to enable this. How often have you been in a situation, where you’ve observed others laughing and this has then made you smile?
The key to humour is being genuinely authentic. Be self-aware and conscious of your emotional intelligence. Have a mindset that helps you encourage others to be the best that they can be.
Recognise the audience and allow the audience to set the tone. It’s not about you being funny to gain a laugh. It’s about what you can do to help others. You’re not a comedian on stage, you’re using humour as an enabler to a situation.
Luckily for me, people often laugh either at, near or with me… mostly at or near! I believe everyone can make others laugh and smile. It’s not about having a comedic routine, a gag or a childish joke, it’s about reading the room, recognising the feeling and thinking, ‘What can I do that’s going to help this individual or group right now?’ And sometimes it’s choosing NOT to break the seriousness of the situation. It’s not about a set rule, it’s the art of reading others and putting yourself in their shoes.
It’s a bit like one of those snow globes at Xmas. It may sit on your mantelpiece all year, unloved, unnoticed and untouched but all it takes is a little nudge to make the scene change slightly. The use of humour is the gentle nudge to change the landscape, the situation, the perspective or peoples’ thinking.