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The importance of humor to make and build teams great
18 Mar 2019

Importance Of Humor In Making And Building Great Teams

With talk of going to Mars ramping up, researchers from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are looking into what makes great teams. While much seems to repeat business findings, a new one stands out. It’s the importance of humor.

Types Of Humor That Makes And Builds Great Teams

First, the type of humor matters. It’s not the degrading, sarcastic type. It’s not the one veiled as an insult. The importance of humor in team building rests on humor’s good side.

That type makes light of situation or event. It could be a relationship. It could be a communication or action. Thus, knowing what humor does helps. It does more than just make people laugh.

The Importance Of Humor Generally

Yes, humor is entertainment. It’s fun. Yet, it also serves many useful purposes. One, is getting people to see things in a different light. That’s creative. It solves problems. It shows commonalities.

Humor also serves as a tool for the brain. People remember a point better if it makes them laugh. Humor persuades. People are more likely to accept a view if it makes them laugh.

Of course, humor can defuse intense events. It can defuse intense disagreements. The research of AAAS and NASA show that the lack of humor increases the likelihood of fights and of team breakdowns.

The importance of humor in the workplace

In team building, NASA found humor acts as a very important bonding agent.

Importance Of Humor In The Workplace

Now, the basic work team does not experience the kind of confines that space crews and research teams in remote, abusive climates do for continuous and very long periods. Yet, that does not change the importance of humor.

Yes, employees going home to their own space or even going offsite work to diffuse intense events. So, other ways exist that don’t exist in space. This does not though negate humor’s proactive (rather than its preventative) aspects. These still make and build great teams.

Tapping The Importance Of Humor

Humor is highly personal. People find different things funny. Also, all don’t have the type of humor that makes and builds great teams.

As for the first, it means allowing humor but also monitoring the type of humor on the team. As for the second, it means looking for those who are not only “funny” but also smart and relatable. They’re smart enough to see the lighter side. They also know their teammates well or can easily get to know them.

Of course, this does not mean teams need a laugh a minute. Humor is a spice. One does not need much. Still, if laughs are few, it’s a sign that problems are near for the team.

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