The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! Teams that Laugh Last!

January 11th, 2018

What’s hot?

The results of a recent study* reveal that social laughter may be an important pathway that supports formation, reinforcement and maintenance of social bonds.  The pleasurable and calming effects of the resulting endorphin release that follows laughter may signal safety and promote feelings of togetherness.


So what?

Social laughter may promote the togetherness essential to high performing teams.

What to do?

  • Use self-deprecating humor. Make light of your hang-ups and idiosyncrasies. It makes others laugh when you can laugh at yourself.
  • Instill the power of silliness. Challenge your team members to engage in occasional foolish behavior.  For example, ask people to create funny warnings about arriving late to work or opening an e-mail.

* Sandra Manninen, Lauri Tuominen, Robin Dunbar, Tomi Karjalainen, Jussi Hirvonen, Eveliina Arponen, Riitta Hari, Iiro P. Jääskeläinen, Mikko Sams, Lauri Nummenmaa. Social Laughter Triggers Endogenous Opioid Release in Humans. “The Journal of Neuroscience,” 2017; 0688-16 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0688-16.2017


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