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Humour can make you a better workplace leader, if you use it properly – here’s how

By Nilupama Wijewardena, Lecturer, College of Business and Law, RMIT University
Charmine Hartel, Distinguished Professor, Associate Dean Research Impact, Director Opportunity Tech Lab, Monash University
Ramanie Samaratunge, Associate Professor, Department of Management, Monash University
When asked to describe an ideal organisational leader, many people might be inclined to use quite serious adjectives such as solemn, determined or results-oriented.

Yet one trait is not only often overlooked, but also essential for managers.

Humour – whether it manifests as a funny anecdote, joke, performance or witty remark – is a crucial tool for good leadership.

When used well, humour can increase employees’ psychological empowerment, job performance and wellbeing, and also make people perceive their leaders as more effective.

But many managers…The Conversation

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