Building great business relationships is a valuable tool in creating a network of people that you can trust to help you succeed. Business relationships come in all shapes and sizes, but most share a similar characteristic:
Whether you are trying to build trust with a client, a coworker, a boss, or an employee, humour can help bridge the gap and build trust. Humour is one of the best tools people have to grease the wheels of human connection. When we share a laugh or a smile with someone new, we are far more likely to trust them in the long term.
Dr Magdalena Rychlowska from Queen’s University, Belfast, investigated three different types of smiles and how they can influence social judgments and trust in situations where there could be conflict.
When it comes to building trust, only one thing is better than smiling with someone – having a laugh.
Comedian, writer, and producer and MD of Hat Trick Productions Jimmy Mulville said it best:
“Humour is a fantastic key to open doors because if I come in and tell you how brilliant I am, and all the great shows that I’ve done, the drawbridge comes up. Then you start being defensive and you start thinking that I’m here to tell you how great I am. If I come in and say about a shit morning where this, this, and this happened, we can have a laugh about it. Then what are we? We’re both human beings trying to make sense of our lives.”
Making a new client or coworker laugh is one of the most valuable ways to start establishing a connection. Humour can help people feel more comfortable in conversation. By sharing a laugh you can pop the bubble of pomposity that often surrounds new business partnerships. Once you reach the common ground that comedy can help provide, collaboration and creativity are sure to follow.
Reboot your Chuckle Connection
When two business partners feel comfortable with each other, they are far more likely to be willing to collaborate to find the best solution. When we can laugh with the people we work with, it becomes much easier to propose new ideas and search for solutions. A great collaborative partnership makes it easier for both parties to try new things and innovate without the fear of failure. This allows everyone at the table to be more creative in their work. After a comfortable connection has been developed between two business partners, both sides will soon realise the value of sharing a human connection while chasing creative success.
A sense of humour often serves as a buffer that protects people from tough times and small failures. When humour can flow through a business relationship, that relationship is more likely to overcome small road bumps and hiccups. When you share a sense of humour with your business partner, you find the positives when things don’t go the way you planned.
Humour reminds us that everyone is only human and that mistakes will happen. Humour in a business relationship can act as the bridge over troubled waters.
When business partners can overcome roadblocks and solve problems together, they will develop an unbreakable bond that will serve as the foundation for a long and successful business relationship. Humour can help us see the humanity that lies underneath every business relationship and create connections that allow creativity and collaboration to flourish.
“People who excel at using humour to create personal and business success use humour in very specific ways. They use humour to create a connection and to dispel tension. They use humour to build common ground and trust with people”
Paul Boross, The Humourology Book.
We work best with people we like and we trust, sprinkle the seeds of trust humour into the field of work and watch the sunflowers of trust bloom.
See you next Tuesday.