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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Are Your Meetings Fun?

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


June 29, 2015

Finding Humor is one of the sixteen habits of mind described by Costa and Kallick. Some recent research indicates that are benefits derived from adding humor to meetings as well. Lehmann-Willenbrock and Allen studied patterns in 54 team meetings involving over 350 people. They found that humor in meetings invited problem-solving behaviors, procedural suggestions, and goal orientation. These gains showed continued improvement over two years. So there is both a short and long term gain from the effects of humor.

We offer a word of caution on the research. The authors were careful to not include sarcasm or put downs in their definition of humor. They also found that humor contributed to performance in high job security situations. This was not found to be true in work settings where job security was low.

As you analyze meetings in which you participate, what do you notice about patterns of humor? What effects does humor have on individuals and the group? What are some of the implicit and explicit norms around humor?

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