How To Hone Your Funny Bone

By Jeff Justice, CSP

  1. Start slowly.  Observe and listen for funny work-related anecdotes or incidents.  Write down those you want to remember and which can be tools at an appropriate occasion in the future.
  2. Begin reading books of appropriate humor collections and write down those quotes, stories, or jokes that apply to you or your work situation.
  3. Take one anecdote and experiment with it.  Personalize it by surrounding it with true details from your work situation and then try it out on a few co-workers.
    • Example: “I have two brothers, one in the ______ business and one sentenced to the electric chair.  My problem is, if I want to impress the man I’m going to marry, should I tell him about my brother in the _____ business?”
  4. Be prepared.  Think of some humorous “wish I had said” responses and change them to “next time it happens, I’m going to say” responses.
    • Example: An editor tells her reporter to “put the article through the typewriter one more time.”
    • Response: “I took your suggestion and put the article through the type writer one more time, but that didn’t work.  I still had to sit down and rewrite it.”
  5. Focus your humor on yourself and your work situation, not on other people (particularly if you don’t know them well)_.  “I’ve been sitting at this desk so long I don’t know where my back leaves off and the chair begins.”
  6. If you hear a good story or joke that you’d like to tell, write down the punch line as soon as you can and then reconstruct the rest of the story in as few words as possible.  Tell the joke or story to at least 3 people as soon as you can after hearing it to set it in your memory.  (Hopefully these are 3 people that weren’t there when you heard it.)
  7. If you think of a funny appropriate response don’t hesitate, use it.

Remember that a little goes a long way.

One Response to “How To Hone Your Funny Bone”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Love your tips, Jeff. I think anyone can be funny, even if they can’t remember a punchline! We all love to hear anecdotes we can relate to..and laughing at myself always work..

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