If you make me laugh–odds are I’ll do business with you. It’s not scientific nor is it intentional but as I look back at the largest business transactions in my career they were a result of somehow making someone laugh along the way and vice-versa! There are plenty of successful people that are serious and rigid, so I figure there’s room enough for someone like me. I guess I’d say my challenge to sales people everywhere is–if I’m laughing, I’m buying so make me laugh!
I decided to do some research on laughter in business and found a firm that actually hires themselves out as laughter coaches. I want that gig! Here are some of the results companies that engage in laughter therapy promise. And while I don’t need scientific facts for my conclusion, I liked what I read about their claims for laughter:
- Reduces mental and physical stress
- Increases energy levels & productivity
- Increases emotional intelligence
- Improves communication & teamwork
- Improves leadership skills
- Enhances innovation and peak performance
- Stretches muscles, burns calories and serves as a natural energy booster
Here are some more facts that made me realize just how important laughter really is for our health and our pocket books:
Up to 90 percent of the doctor visits in the USA may be triggered by a stress-related illness, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Today’s business demands have put a tremendous strain on our global workforce. Longer hours coupled with fewer resources are pushing more and more management and employees to their breaking point. Combined with the need to achieve work-life balance stress is taking a tremendous financial and personal toll on US business profitability:
- $300 billion per year or $7,500 each employee is paid out for stress-related compensation claims
- 1 million workers went on stress-related disability in 2004
- 75% of doctor visits are for stress-related conditions
- Eight of the top 10 prescription drugs marketed today are for stress-related conditions
- Stress is directly associated with depression, anxiety, asthma, alcohol/drug addictions and other conditions that affect the nervous and immune systems.
- Approximately 100 million Americans suffer stress related from chronic health conditions: heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
Job stress has become a common and costly problem in the American workplace, leaving few workers untouched.
So if laughter can prevent some of these illnesses or at the very least reduce stress, why aren’t we laughing more? THAT I don’t know the answer to, but here’s my call to action–let’s start laughing. What if every day at noon you put a reminder on your calendar to pop up and say, “remember to laugh.” Then you’ll have permission (and an appointment) to laugh. Or smile or something to change wherever your mind might be to a softer, happier place.
I’m committed. I’ll flag my calendar every day for 30 days; the only time I won’t laugh at high noon is when it would be inappropriate (the restroom, mass, funeral…you get the idea). If I’m at lunch with a client, I promise to laugh. I’ll report the results, but most importantly I encourage each of you to conduct your own experiment in laughter. It can’t hurt…unless of course you do so much your sides ache. Either way, if laughter is good for your mind and body it has to be good for business. And in these times ANYTHING that’s good for business is, well, good for business!
Mary Emma Allen says
Delightful suggestions. I’ll have to remember this in my business, my writing, and when I’m job interviewing. As a side note, I also found laughter got my mom, hubby and me through the days of caring for Mother during her Alzheimer’s journey.
“We don’t laugh enough,” Mother once remarked, when Jim and I were chuckling over some antic of hers.
I realized Mother enjoyed the laughter, needed the laughter as we did, whether she knew what she was laughing about or not.
Chrysty Fortner says
Touching…thank you for sharing. You often wonder if what you write resonates with anyone. I hope I die of laughter. I truly do.
Chrysty Fortner says
Great addition to the practice. Laughing alone only makes people think you’re more nuts than you probably are. Cheers!
Nathalie Lussier says
I couldn’t agree more. Laughter is great for us, it lightens the mood, and just makes everything that much easier on all of us. I would pick someone I can laugh with too, because it’s a great way to connect with someone. 🙂
Eileen McVety says
You’re right on with this observation! I, too, love to laugh, not only during work but actually AT the ridiculousness of office politics and regulations. In fact, I recently wrote a book entitled “Welcome to the Company (or what it’s really like working here).” It’s a mock employee handbook that satirizes many of the situations and frustrations that so often lead to chronic stress. You’ll see it on Amazon.com, if you’re interested…and if you’re looking for something to spur on your high-noon laughter. Keep smiling!
Chrysty Fortner says
Thank you ladies! And Eileen, as a person who enjoys the political incorrectness and awkwardness of “The Office,” I will enjoy your book. I’ll send you a note when I finish it. Perfect fit for me. Cheers. C.