Humour Across Cultures

Humour Across Cultures

In this episode of the CQ for Global Leaders Podcast, Tom discusses how humour is perceived across different cultures and how it can either make or break cultural boundaries.

Humour Across Cultures

  • A lot of jokes are based on delivery, timing, nuance, and commonality. It’s important to have a common understanding frame of reference for what you are talking about.
  • Humour is a mindset. It is all about being able to look at things in a funny way.
  • A joke is more about laughing about somebody else rather than laughing at ourselves or with others.
  • Laughter is great because it creates a level of commonality. It lightens people up and shifts the mood. If you can get people laughing, it is certainly one thing that you should do.
  • Even when you are being self-deprecating, it is important to be careful especially if you don’t know who your audience is. Sometimes, being too self-deprecating may dent your image.
  • As leaders, it’s important for us to know when and how to use humour.
  • Every culture has some idiosyncratic points that everybody in that culture knows about when it is being referred to. Utilise these things when talking to people.
  • Do not laugh at other people. Laugh at yourself or laugh together. 

Today’s Take-away Action

  • How and when do you use humour as a leader? 
  • How do you bring a level of lightness into your interactions?

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