April 14

How Office Pranks Can Make Your Job Suck Less

Special Segment by Brad Montgomery

Brad is a friend of mine who had worked to improve my ability to use humor. He’s witty, funny and nice. As a “corporate comedian” he always cracks me up – so I asked him for some advice on how to use what he knows to ease some stress and improve the workplace, and he agreed. Here is what he shared! — Michael

I love office harmless, victimless office pranks. Before I give you a couple cool pranks you can do today, let me tell you why I love them.

Practical jokes are fun, create fun, and inspire fun. When I talk to my clients about boosting humor in their workplace (which increases productivity, improves morale, and aids with employee recruitment and retention), one of the main points I teach is that humor doesn’t start spontaneously. It’s not like a lightning strike. It has to be created, nurtured, and fed.

If your goal is to LEAD the way to humor, the single best way to create an environment conducive to fun is to demonstrate an appreciation for humor yourself. In other words, if you want to have more fun at work, you don’t have to be able to tell jokes, wear clown shoes, or crack wise during meetings. (Though if those things float your boat, go for it!) Instead, show appreciation for a good joke or prank, and laugh at other people’s wise cracks.

Guess what happens when you demonstrate this appreciation of humor? You’ll hear more jokes, you’ll see (and fall victim to) more pranks, and you’ll be entertained by wise cracks. See the brilliance? In order to lead the way to more humor at work, you don’t have to be funny at all. All you have to do is DEMONSTRATE that you like it when other people are funny.

Ok… this is where pranks come in. When you pull a prank, you’re shouting to the world, “Take me on! I love to laugh! Go for it!” And lucky you … your people will listen.

So, how ‘bout a couple of easy, victimless won’t get you sent to the HR department pranks you can execute today? Easy. Here are three:

• Use tape loops to tape your workmate’s telephone receiver to their phone. (So when they try to answer the phone they can’t “pick up.”
• Put a small piece of tape over the laser on the bottom of somebody’s mouse. It will simulate a broken mouse.
• Change the height of a workmate’s desk chair. Do this one time and it’s funny. Do this twelve times over the course of two weeks, it’s hilarious.

Now all you have to do is to laugh. Smile. And wait for the joy — and pranks — to come back to you. And they will.

Good for you… now you’re doing your part to Lead the Way to Laughter.

==
Brad Montgomery is a motivational humorist speaker, author, and facilitator. He works with groups who want to laugh-out-loud while learning how to make their workplaces more fun. You can reach Brad at BradMontgomery.com and read his latest rants and ideas at his blog: Bradlaughs.com


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