Humour centrestage

One tends to think that leadership and humour are contradictory and go against each other. However, on the contrary, it stands as a powerful aid and indispensable tool for success. The revelations are astounding

Humour in our lives

“A sense of humour is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

Humour is a skill that can be learnt and when used correctly, it is a super power that can help build happier, healthier and more productive lives. It is particularly important in education since students attending unappealing classes are seen to remain distracted  and take no time to forget what went on. This makes the process a wasteful one and defeats the purpose of learning.


How leaders use humour

Besides providing direction, inspiration and guidelines, good leaders exhibit courage, passion, confidence, commitment and ambition. The most effective leaders display these traits. Studies have shown that a leader with a sense of humour is  27% more motivating, and their employees 15% more engaged.

The best example of humour in leadership are the world’s greatest political leaders, who could control entire nations with the spoken word. They use it while campaigning as well as while impressing the people after they are sworn into power. Barak Obama, Narendra Modi, Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Joe Biden are there to name a few. Former American President Bill Clinton had once said remarked that when we start a conversation with humour, many things seem possible, referring to humour as the great laboratory of problem solving.

Barack Obama does not exhibit a natural comic persona. However, he is often recognized for his sharp and striking humour. It’s an important component of his style, helping to humanize an otherwise detached persona in ways that could prove valuable in the political wars ahead.

Both these presidents have the power to coordinate with the whole nation with their talks.


Why is humour such a necessary tool

A good leader guides his or her group in a creative way that makes work more interesting for the team members. When the speech of such a leader is spiced with humour, they turn even more interesting and entertaining. In fact,  good communication skills are an asset for a great leader.

Good leaders use humour consciously to be more effective. Primarily, it enables them enjoy their own work and establish better relationships with their team. It signals their confidence and higher emotional intelligence. It acts as a humanizing tool that gives them a higher recall value. Humour helps leaders get emotionally closer to the team members and insights into their thoughts and workings.



We need to use humour with a pinch of caution. There is a fine line between humour and sensitivity which we must respect; and be mindful in using it such that we do not end up hurting someone’s sentiments. For instance, if someone gets hurt in an awkward fall, we should first check if he has been hurt before cracking a joke on him.

About the authors

The article has been contributed by the following students of Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Vaduthala: Aldrin Sheen, Johaan Paul, Natasha Ann Thomas, Niya Maria Mebin and Sreehari V.A.

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