My good friend and professional colleague Mike Kerr is known as the Workplace Energizer because of his focus on using humor to create inspiring workplaces. I am honored to have him as my guest blogger today as he makes the case for not getting TOO politically correct. Don’t get me wrong … he’s certainly not suggesting that we be disrespectful to one another in the workplace, but he is offering a different and interesting perspective.
Reading Between the Punch Lines
I think we spend too much time, frankly, worrying about practicing “safe humor” in the workplace. Yes, we need to be sensitive about using certain types of inappropriate humor, and of course there is humor in the workplace that should be off limits. Racists or sexist or otherwise offensive humor that bullies people or divides people or offends your customers is obviously not what any healthy, inspiring workplace should be aiming for.
To me, it’s about common sense and basic respect: two things you can’t “legislate” at work.
So having said all that, here’s my concern.
First, too many workplaces that are too hypersensitive about this topic risk creating sterile, boring workplaces where all humor is off-limits, risks are minimized and doing anything different gets you in trouble. Hardly an inspiring workplace! Continue reading