Daryl Keeley

Talent Attraction & Retention Coach



New research shows

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New research from the Australian National University has found that humour in the workplace can help employees deal with workplace aggression and stressful situations.
ANU College of Business and Economics lead researcher Dr David Cheng said workplace aggression and bullying is a widespread problem that impacts the mental health of victims and the ramifications can be expensive for organisations. The results of the research show, he said, that humour can be used to reduce the negative impact of aggression.
“While obviously the best solution to workplace aggression is to stamp out the poor behaviour, our research shows if something stressful does happen to you at work, a bit of laughter can help,” Dr Cheng said.
“The experiments consistently showed exposure to humorous stimuli is useful for victims of aggression. Humour helps reduce some of the damage caused to a victim’s psychological well-being by bolstering their sense of power. They felt more powerful and that people would be more likely to listen to them.”
“That’s important because with workplace aggression, when you get yelled at you feel belittled, you feel weaker. So humour can help counter that by making you feel more empowered,” he argued.
The study is part of a larger research project into the impact of laughter in the workplace, following a 2015 study that saw participants engaging in boring repetitive work (answering basic maths questions). After a period, people were given a 10-minute break, with one group again exposed to humourous videos.
“After the break, we told people they could stop work at any point in time. Then we measured how long they went for and how they performed,” he said.
“The people in the humour group continued to work for double the length of time with the same level of performance in terms of the accuracy of their answers.”
The results of the research have been published in a paper titled: Laughter Is (Powerful) Medicine: the Effects of Humor Exposure on the Well-being of Victims of Aggression in the Journal of Business and Psychology.

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4 words that improve conversations

Picture yourself listening to a friend who is telling you a great story.
Now think about what you’re thinking while they’re telling that story.
You’re thinking about a story you’re going tell that’s “just like” their story, aren’t you?
In your head you’re thinking, “Oh my gosh, I have a story that’s JUST LIKE that!”
“They won’t believe how similar our stories are!”
“I have to keep thinking about my story so I won’t forget it.”
“When will they stop talking so that I can tell my story?”
Notice that you’re now thinking about you. You’ve become focused on your own story and you have actually stopped listening to the other person’s story.
Me telling you a story that’s “just like” your story is not listening.
The conversation becomes a tennis match in which stories are volleyed back and forth – there is no real connection.

If you want to do more than volley the stories back and forth across the net – if you actually want to connect with the other person – try using these four simple words:

“Tell me more about…”

“Tell me more about … a moment in the story, a person in the story, what happened when….”
“Tell me more about” demonstrates that you care about their story, that you’re interested in what they have to say. It lets the other person know that you listened to their story and that you care to hear more.

“Oh my gosh, wait until I tell you what happened to me – it’s just like that!” is about you and your story.
“Tell me more about” is an invitation to connect.
Give it a try!

Go ahead and take that lunch break!

Give yourself permission to go outside.
Break free from your desk even for 20 minutes.
Seriously, you know you want to, you know you’re entitled to it, you know how important it is to take breaks. Not only will it boost your productivity and creativity, it’ll be a win for your mental and physical health as well.

According to a recent survey*, 56% of respondents eat at their desk at least twice a week. And 89% of participants agree that sitting for much of the day is bad for their health, yet nearly half of respondents eat at their desk at least three times a week.

In fact, the majority of those who eat at their work desk at least once a week say that if they were to eat away from their desk more often, they would be more creative (64%), in a better mood (74%) and healthier overall (73%).

*Mastercard commissioned an online omnibus survey among the general U.S. population. An independent global market research firm conducted the online survey from September 25 to 26, 2018.

Tip 1: Know your audience


During my week in Nigeria, I presented to several different audiences. This particular audience was different than the others.

The others were corporate groups: executives, leaders and customer service managers from different businesses. This was an audience in which many people had not yet made it into the work world. Had I come out with a typical customer service presentation, I would have failed. The preparation was important. I asked the client to describe, in detail, the audience. I spent time talking to members of the audience as they were waiting for the program to begin.

Some of what I learned made it into the speech. All of what I learned helped me understand the audience, if even just a little bit more, and gave me insight that made for a better presentation. It’s simple. The best speech in the world means nothing if it doesn’t relate to your audience.

Embrace frustration


You always have a choice. You can adopt a mindset where you believe the world is conspiring against you, and let frustration stymy you, or you can use setbacks as fuel to course correct and keep going. To conquer frustration, focus on the outcome, not the obstacle.

We often get discouraged right before we have a major breakthrough. Stick with it! An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.

If you maintain your patience and keep your eye on the prize, you might look back and see that this was a pivotal moment.


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