Today is the traditional “April Fools” day. Its origins are indicated to date back to the 1500’s when the calendar year start changed from April to January. It continued to be supported in many ways for the past 400 plus years. It basically is a day of practical jokes and theoretically harmless pranks carried out between two people with one of them being pranked and the other the prankster. Unfortunately, the humor around this day and about a lot of things these days has taken a big turn away from their original intent. It now somehow gets recrafted or twisted into an attack on the enjoyment of laughter.
For those of you that are readers of this 3-minute weekly insight on a consistent basis, you know I’m not a person who excels at humor and maybe does not have a funny bone in my body. I do enjoy a good laugh and chuckle as medicine for the heart and soul. The past 12 months have taken their toll on our opportunities to genuinely laugh at ourselves.
The world of media – social, tv, print and any other types of information sharing have been so wrapped up in what ever level of distortion of truth that we should all be laughing hysterically. Not that what they are saying but at what is not being said. If you ever watch a comedian work and focus in on their craft, they are people of great perceptions and readers of a crowd. Their routines shift and flow based on their various jokes or pranks they verbally craft and share with the crowd. As the crowd goes so does the routine. If one track is failing, they quickly shift to another to regain the crowd’s attention and more importantly their involvement. The crowd is dupped into the routine through intentful crafted routines for the primary purpose of having the crowd place themselves directly into the story of the prank and then laughing at themselves for allowing themselves to go there.
So why is this brought up here in this 3-minute weekly insights communincation? Believe it or not the same techniques used by the comedian, the media and your staff can all play in the same “April Fools” game. The difference is that the outcome of the comedian is to make you laugh and gain personal enjoyment. A break from the daily grind. On the other hand, the media and your staff might not have the same end objective.
As leaders one of our roles is to provide an environment that engages our team and allows them to be successful and rewarded. Something that has crept into businesses not just in the past 12 months but over the course of time is the absence of being able to laugh at ourselves and with others. Too often the simplest of casual conversations or jokes or pranks are contorted and twisted into personal attacks.
I’m in no way advocating for a workplace that is toxic with levity but we as a society have shifted so far in the direction that any communincation must be so politically correct that it completely removes any opportunity to have a good laugh at ourselves.
This week is your opportunity to look at your organization through the eyes of a child. What would the child see if they looked at your company’s culture? Would they see people who are not only working together but have positive enjoyable relationships to further the purpose of the organization? Would they see a stifling environment where everyone must first fully think through every word for fear of offending someone? By looking at your business as a child we might just see some real potential. A potential which is being missed because people are fearful of coming forward with truth. A prank or joke could likely be twisted into something totally different than what it was intended to bring to the forefront.
Looking for ways to bring fun back into your work environment without giving up performance and potential? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida. Or go onto our calendar below and schedule an initial meeting which works best on your busy schedule. JKL Associates looks forward to continuing to build relationships rooted in “Purpose.”