Does work always have to be serious? Nope.
You don’t have to look and act serious in everything you do. This includes work. You don’t have to keep your face locked in a permanent ” I’m tough” stare. Business is not poker.
It’s more like dating, but without the same kind of intimacy.
When I encounter really serious people, I try to make them laugh. Really, I do. It doesn’t always work. But I want to break down barriers with people I work with and laughter can do that.
When I was a professor, I used to call one of the deans, “Boss”, even though that didn’t define our relationship. We’d both laugh.
I’d rather work on a project that paid a million yen instead of a similar project that paid 1.5 million yen if this higher paying project was not going to be any fun and the people would be boring or too serious.
I had a great meeting with a client earlier this week and while we talked about the engagement [that’s a consulting word and a relationship word] we laughed a lot. I thought he was really funny, and serious.
H and I also met with a PR person from Australia last week to plan a wine event. We talked in round numbers about how many people we’d invite and the cost for wine and food. H couldn’t quite get her accent. She talked about inviting 50 people, serving champagne, some rose wine and “nibbles.”
There are so many times when we could laugh at work, but we hold back from being funny or making a joke. as if it means we aren’t serious. You can be serious and laugh.
Of course, not every situation lends itself to laughter. And if you are only funny and don’t get the work done, it’s not a good thing either.
But if you can laugh, have fun and do great work, you’ll have a smile on your face and you’ll attract a lot of great people who want to work with you.