You Make The Calls

Just For You:

Humor Yourself

It's been one of those days . . . You arrive early for your first interview with a new client and discover your appointment was yesterday. Then the airline calls. Your flight to Puerto Vallarta is overbooked, so you'll have to delay your vacation.

How do you cope? Have a good laugh. As the old adage goes, laughter is the best medicine.

Finding humor in business situations is your best coping mechanism. Laughter lifts your spirits, puts your problems in perspective and lets your creative energies flow. Besides, laughing feels good, and most of us don't laugh nearly enough--especially at work.

Developing your humor potential is easy. "Just be yourself," says Joel Goodman, director of The Humor Project Inc., a resource and training company in Saratoga Springs, New York. "Do those things that come naturally to you." Here are four tips to get you started:

1. Take a humor break. Some people take coffee breaks, so why not take a daily 15-minute break to read the comics, share a joke or draw funny pictures? It will remind you that nothing is all that serious.

2. Spend time with good-natured people. Humor is contagious. Get together with friends and family members who see the bright side of life. You will, too.

3. Keep a humor kit. Fill your kit with items that make you laugh: cartoons, humorous anecdotes, cards from friends, videotapes of "Saturday Night Live" reruns. When you're upset, angry or blue, open your kit and have some fun.

4. Lighten up. If you can't change the situation, ask yourself "How could this be any worse?" Your response might make you chuckle.

Contact Sources

The Humor Project Inc., 480 Broadway, #210, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-2288,

Prepare Inc., 147 W. 25th St., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10001, (800) 345-5425

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This article was originally published in the April 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: You Make The Calls.

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