Human Resources Management


Class Clown

by Jeff Justice, CSP

For years, I’ve earned my living making people laugh, but I was funny long before I did it for money.

Class ClownAs a kid, I was always the class clown. Somehow, I instinctively understood the power of humor — that if I said something funny in class and it made my teacher laugh, I wouldn’t get in trouble. Of course, if she didn’t laugh, I got a chance to rehearse and try it again on the Principal. If I didn’t get a laugh there, I got to do it again in his office for my parents. Sometimes I did two or three shows a day…sometimes even an after-school matinee!

So I ended up in comedy clubs where stressed-out people went to laugh and forget the grind of their nine-to-five. Eventually, I began speaking to corporate audiences, using my sense of humor to teach about team building and management skills…and stress. (Good professional speakers are better paid than good comedians, which reduces my stress at home, too!)   Really, it makes sense to deal with stress by using humor. It’s like dealing with a headache by taking Tylenol. You can sit and suffer or you can do something about it. Me, I’ll take the Tylenol — and a good laugh along with it.

You know that pain is nature’s way telling you something’s wrong, and stress is also an indicator. Tylenol doesn’t cure whatever causes your pain, but it can relieve symptoms and allow you to concentrate on what really matters. I think of humor the same way: it’s not going to cure the root of your stress, but it can ease anxiety and help you focus on what’s really important. So take two laughs and call me in the morning. Learn More »

Stress Busters

by Jeff Justice, CSP

SEVEN Instant Stress Busters:

  1. The Bart Simpson Maneuver
    See your situation as your favorite sitcom or cartoon character would handle it.
  2. Life Gives You Lemons Make LemonadeReframing
    Use humor to turn a negative into a positive.
  3. Flow changers
    If you’re given lemons make lemonade.
  4. Internal humor
    Treat them like they just left a mental institution. Lots of understanding.
  5. Take a humor break
    Go listen to a funny tape or read something that makes you laugh
  6. Joke hotline
    Form a group you can call when you’re stressed out to hear a quick joke and pick your spirits up.
  7. Don’t tighten up, lighten up!
    Look for the funny side of life.

If you found these tips from Jeff Justice, CSP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in his self-paced, downloadable courses at


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7 Habits of Highly Funny Project Managers

By Jeff Justice, CSP

Why are there people who are funnier than the rest of us? What makes them different?  Oh sure, some people are just born funny.  Some just have a natural way of saying things that’s funny. Some may look funny while others talk funny.

Funny Project ManagerAfter twenty plus years of teaching normal business people how to be funny(ier) I’ve concluded that the “Highly Funny People (Project Managers included)” all share the same habits, which are learnable by anyone,…even you.

They have the ability and are willing to laugh at themselves. Their stories show how they failed but coped with it through laughter.  They teach others by laughing at their own mistakes.

When they say something that is meant to be funny they pause to let audience laugh and they don’t start talking until the audience has finished. I’ve watched many speakers train an audience to laugh in shorter and shorter bursts by talking after their punch lines and cutting the audience off.  The audience will stop laughing to hear what you have to say.  The reason these people start talking after their punch line is they are afraid of hearing dead silence so they fill that space with their own voice.

They don’t stretch out a story or joke. The longer you make a story the funnier the punch line has to be to get a good laugh.  George Burns put it best when asked how to craft a good joke.  He said, “Make the beginning quick, the end quick and put the two of them as close together as possible.”

They never use racist, religious, ethnic, political or blue humor (cuss words). Highly funny people don’t take a chance at offending their audience to get a laugh.  The best advice is, “When in doubt, leave it out.” Now one has ever been reprimanded at a business meeting for being too clean. Learn More »

TWENTY Stress Reducers

by Jeff Justice, CSP

  1. Laugh at yourself. 
For good health, laugh at least ten times a day and five of those should be at yourself.
  2. Realize that most events in our personal and business lives will fall somewhere on a continuum between very positive and very negative. Find your balance.
  3. Do some stretching and breathing exercises every few hours.
Being trapped behind a desk or the wheel of a car all day can make the body stiff. Use deep breathing from your stomach to relax you and stretching to loosen the muscles and joints.
    Learn More »
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