I had a leader once tell me that, “You connect with people during the scariest parts of change in a way that influences and energizes them, and I don’t know how you do it.”
My tongue was tied by that Southern fear of becoming a braggart, so I just mumbled an ineffectual “thank you.” If I were to replay the situation, which I have a million times in my head, here’s what I would say.
Big Hairy Change Secret: Laughter
Yes, please take a moment to write that down. The fact is that I laugh A LOT during times of change.
I might not be able to pen an entire manuscript on this secret, although authors have done it with less, but I believe it. Change requires an energy that is more relaxed than frantic, and that is what laughter provides.
Benefits of Laughter
Yea, But I’m Not That Funny
I’m not asking you to wear a big red nose or become Jerry Seinfeld at every meeting reflecting on how socks disappear in dryers. What I am saying is that you should allow and encourage laughter during times of change. Here’s why:
Change requires energy, particularly when it’s new. Laughter is a great change accelerator and most people are desperate for it.
Laugh easily. Laugh freely. Let others laugh. I’ve used it. It works.
And I’ve never had to wear a clown nose.