Monday, August 17, 2009

Keep Your Sense of Humor

Almost nothing is more helpful in dealing with people than a sense of humor. A sense of humor doesn't necessarily mean a knack for telling jokes. Rather, it means the ability to take some setbacks and still see that the world has not come to an end. If you can keep from taking a situation or yourself too seriously, you will get much better results. If you don't take yourself too seriously, there are always things in any situation that are still amusing, that you can still smile about. A smiling, cheerful leader invariably wins more cooperation than a grim or gloomy one.

I read somewhere a story about Ben Franklin's method of persuading others to his point of view. Patience and endurance were the two characteristics he believed necessary to win people over. He assumed people were won over slowly, often indirectly. His philosophy was that if you did not win them over today go after them tomorrow, and the next day.

Ben Franklin's tips for doing this were simple. Be clear, in your own mind, exactly what you are after. Do your homework, so you are fully prepared to discuss every aspect and respond to every question and comment. Be persistent. Don't expect to "win" the first time. Your first job is to just start the other person thinking. Make friends with the person with whom you are bargaining. Put your bargains in terms of his or her needs, advantages and benefits. Most importantly, keep your sense of humor.

If all you do in a crisis is add to the heat and confusion, people will soon lose respect for your abilities under pressure. But if you can maintain your sense of humor when the world seems to be falling apart, people who rely on you will show their appreciation in better work and greater loyalty.

Yes, some problems are serious, but there's nothing to be gained by exaggerating their importance. Get in the habit of taking yourself and your problems less seriously. Learn to smile at yourself and the world as well. You'll get better results and actually have more good things to smile about when you do.

Be safe and remember to put family first!!!


Sparky Supporter said...

Still feel this way after getting snubbed for promotion? You got screwed and we all know it. They want yes people who do not have the balls to challenge. Screw them and keep laughing. You are what we need but will never have as long as Sanders, Lansdowne, Long, Kanaski and company are in charge.

Name Refused for Cause said...

I like it that the chief reads your blog. How could he not. He is taking your advise and keeping a sense of humor. Look at the promotions yesterday. Shelly Zimmerman chief??? After the shock wore off we are all laughing at the lunacy of it all. Keep the faith brother. You are right on. You would have never fit in as a lieutenant anyway.