How to use humor in solving tough business problems

Beyond helping you lighten up so you don’t burn out, laughter stimulates creative brain waves. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other temporal lobe and the ‘ah-ha’ moment.

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As Rufus Scrimgeour famously says in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”: “These are dark times, there is no denying.”

Businesses today have no shortage of things to worry about. From driving growth and attracting and retaining employees to dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and stock market volatility, organizations across all sectors are facing myriad challenges that affect their companies in a multitude of ways.

To say that injecting humor into the workplace can solve these challenges may seem glib and superficial. However, there is scientific evidence to show that it is anything but. According to research, laughter, much like mediation and mindfulness, stimulates alpha brain waves in the right temporal lobe that function as a neural mechanism to help our brains inhibit obvious associations so we can connect the dots of seemingly unrelated ideas in fresh ways.

Based on a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, too often individuals are caught in rivers of thinking, recycling the same ideas over and over again in a habitual manner. When faced with new challenges or unexpected events, we go back to these same ideas and are unable to find new solutions.

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