Take a Risk, Tell the Joke!

What kind of vegetable do drummers like best?

JokeA new study covered in the August 2016 issue of the Harvard Business Review suggests that people who tell jokes benefit from them – if they’re funny.

Researchers led by T. Bradford  Bitterly of the Whatrton School looked at causal links between humor and status in business.  After studying humor in job interviews, business presentations, and more, they concluded that humor is not such a bad thing, and the person telling the joke can benefit from it.  They found that:

  • If a person tells a joke and it’s good, the person’s status and competence becomes more highly rated
  • If a person tells a joke and it’s bad, the person’s status and competence stays the same
  • If a person tells an inappropriate joke, status and competence suffers, but confidence becomes more highly rated

Relatively speaking, there’s upside to telling a well-received joke, and little downside to telling one that’s not so very funny.  The moral of the story:  tell that joke!  It can’t hurt.

And by the way, drummers like beets best.


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