Merge's Blog

Tag Archives: humor at work

What does it take to “connect” with your employees?

Last week I was working in Honolulu HI (yea I know, tough :)) and as I took a walk one evening, I came across this homeless man taking a quick nap on the sidewalk.


I realize the picture isn’t completely in focus, but if you can’t read it, his sign says “Why Lie, Need Beer.  Mahalo.  God bless.”  After I laughed out loud, I stopped for a few minutes to observe other people’s reactions.  In the five minutes that I stood there, unseen in the shadows, I saw 17 people stop and read his sign, and (this was the one that surprised me) 14 give him their spare change.  Continue reading

Have a sense of humor! It will stand you in good stead

So you’ve probably seen the latest “video-gone-viral – how professional violinist Lukas Kmit handled the situation when an errant cell phone went off during his performance. If you haven’t, take 90 seconds to do so below.

Funny, right? But what I really liked about this clip is that it demonstrates how presence of mind and a sense of humor can turn what could have been an ugly situation into something much much more pleasant. It would have been so easy for the violinist to have lost his cool; after all, “turn off your cell phones” had probably been announced several times before the concert started. But instead, he kept his wits about him and turned something bad into something great. As a result, he’s probably gotten more publicity in the last week than he got previously in his entire career!

So is there a message there for the rest of us? I think so! In our day-to-day work lives, we face a myriad of unexpected situations, many of which can be professionally devastating if we don’t respond appropriately. Two things can make such situations better:

  1. Not taking ourselves too seriously (Lukas Kmit didn’t)
  2. Giving ourselves permission to improvise (Lukas Kmit certainly did)

Can you think of situations at work where doing these two things could have (or did) make the outcome better? Do share!