I do believe too many people take their work very seriously. And to some degree, work is serious. But I believe, work should not get stressful. It should be like playing a game of tennis – absorbing and focusing your energy for some purpose. The moment you let the game get to your head, you’re in for trouble.
We can often forget that work is one part of life and as a result end up being so serious and stressed. We can unintentionally hurt others by being mean or not giving them the proper respect as fellow human beings.
Thus, I believe it’s very healthy to be able to smile and laugh at work. Collaboration can’t occur when the team doesn’t feel safe. Making others laugh relieves their stress and allows them to relax too.
Author’s note: On one project, I saw a senior leader and a product manager get so heated up that the senior leader barged out of the room slamming the door behind her! A few months later the product manager was “let go” from his position. Some people thrive in hostile political environments, thinking that’s the “norm”. I feel, for myself, for my health and wellbeing, I don’t think this is “part of the job” and how people typically behave. I would like to bring less stress to myself and others around me. Learn how to make others laugh.