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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Leaders MUST break out of their comfort zones


As leaders or managers in your industry, it is easy to get caught up in your day-to-day responsibilities. Often, leaders are trying to keep their head above water to complete tasks on a daily, monthly or yearly basis.

While encouraging, mentoring or problem solving with others in their organization, leaders spend a great deal of time focusing on giving team members tools and advice to be successful in their role. It’s not uncommon for leaders to then neglect their own professional growth by being focused on others and the organization.

To grow both professionally and personally, I encourage leaders to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. The idea may sound scary, but the life lessons and experiences will far outweigh any fears. Leaders draw on their past experiences to guide others. By branching out and experiencing something new, leaders become able to see things from a different perspective.


Leadership blind spots are common

  • The world is flat. If you sail too far, your ship will fall off the edge.
  • Cocaine cough drops are good medicine, especially for children.
  • Inhaling tobacco smoke poses no danger to your health.
  • Detroit automakers have nothing to fear from the surge of Japanese cars.
  • IBM’s market position could never be threatened by an upstart company started in somebody’s garage.

With the benefit of hindsight, these statements seem silly if not downright stupid. But there was a time when smart people actually believed them to be true. Why? Because they had blind spots.

Blind spots are common. Some of them are the literal kind that could get us killed on the highway. Some are relatively benign, like failure to see the good in a team that’s playing against our hometown favorite. Other blind spots are of a societal nature and can be harmful, like false assumptions that produce prejudice and bigotry.

Somewhere in all this faulty thinking are leadership blind spots.
These are beliefs and experiences that block out more enlightened views of how to lead people most effectively.
We’ve all seen the findings on employee engagement. They’re not pretty. Many people do not feel psychologically attached to their work. The annual cost of disengagement in the U.S. alone is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.


Know yourself

Know yourself:
This is an interesting concept and probably doesn’t mean what you think it does. In short, take care of yourself.

Knowing yourself is about knowing your health and capabilities.

I cannot go to sleep at 2 a.m. and get up four hours later at 6 a.m. to deliver a speech at 8. I’ll be exhausted, and even if my audience doesn’t notice, I will. I’ll be tired. It will be harder to concentrate.

Know yourself. Know your limits.

I have a goal when I have a speaking engagement the next morning – “In bed by 10.” It doesn’t matter how much fun I’m having the night before the speech. It doesn’t matter if the client is taking me out for a fancy dinner. It’s in bed by 10. You’ll never be at your best if you don’t do what you know is best for yourself.


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