Knock Knock... Who's there? Who is Funny at Work?

Humor and jokes at the workplace. Do it well or destroys you.


By Miselle P. Bergonia, AICI CIP



Notice how jokes can play well or not in the workplace. Studies have shown that being funny or making jokes can make or break your career. So, what is a good joke or how do you become funny? A popular case on good or bad jokes is seen on the news when officials blurt out statements…then a spokesperson says...it was just a joke. But everyone watching did not think it was funny. Let’s break it down.


Humor, done well, can communicate charisma for a person. A person that develops or can create charisma can cultivate influence. This influence can push towards leadership qualities, team harmony, and wit. On the other hand, jokes that go bad can go on the opposite scale of the charisma factor. The bad timing or context of a joke can ruin the person because of lack of tact, lack of diplomacy, insensitivity, harassment, racial slur, and the list can go on.


So we ask…should we be funny at work? Should we attempt to make jokes? So how do incorporate humor and make it work to your advantage?


This article won’t be about Comedy 101 but a list of dos and don’ts on humor in the workplace. Here is my top 10…

  1. Don’t say jokes about someone’s race and gender

  2. Don’t say jokes about physical appearance

  3. Don’t say jokes about mental capacity

  4. Don’t say jokes about language and diction

  5. Don’t mimic someone’s disability

  6. Avoid green jokes

  7. Do try to make a good laugh about problems and challenges

  8. Do find memorable moments to have a good laughing memory

  9. Do find your own mistakes and discover a way to laugh about it

  10. Do incorporate humor and fun when meeting with colleagues or customers


Jokes, being funny, having a sense of humor can have a lot of benefits. But it can have way more disadvantages if delivered the wrong way. Being funny or making jokes is actually a sign that someone is witty, observant, and confident. Making jokes takes tact, sensitivity and keen observation. Listen and watch the comedians doing stand-up…they rehearse, they write their script and then make an act. In the workplace, we don’t have a rehearsal, a write and no script. So thread carefully when making those jokes.

About the Writer:

Miselle P. Bergonia is a coach, trainer, and image consultant. She helps persons and organizations achieve their success thru learning, discovery and self-development. Thru continuous learning and continuous improvement – Miselle believes the world can be a better place. Filipinos will know how to be Filipino again.

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