1. WELCOME FROM THE PUBLISHER
Welcome to the new millennium! With all the changes going on, I think having joy and laughter in our lives is more important than ever. And remember, joy is contagious, so let's start an epidemic!
*****Come Have A Laugh!*****
As of January 14 I'm back performing stand-up at
Cafe Madeleine, 3763 West 10th Ave, Vancouver ‚ Clean intelligent comedy in a smoke-free environment, Fridays at 8:00 p.m.
Opening the shows are students from my Langara College Comedy Clinic Class. You'll not only laugh, but also get a behind the scenes glimpse at how comics develop new material during our "Comedy Lab" part of the show.
Reservations recommended 224-5558. Bring in this blurb and buy 1 entree, get 2nd for 50% off.
Also if you've ever had a dream to do comedy, my 8-week Stand-Up Comedy Clinic Course at Langara College starts in February. To register call Langara at 323-5322, course #104101.
2. HOW ANYONE CAN USE HUMOR
by David Granirer
My definition of humor in the workplace is: Acts involving some sort of surprise which make people feel good.
Certainly this can take the form of joke telling, but it can also take many others. Leaving a cookie on a coworker's desk, giving an unexpected compliment, and sending an encouraging e-mail are all acts that involve some form of surprise ("Hey, I wasn't expecting that!") and leave people feeling good. When I worked at the Vancouver Crisis Center I used to have a gorilla mask, and when things got too stressful, I'd put it on and walk around the building. That act of surprise left people with a smile and sense of relief from all the tension.
And it's those small acts of humor that make all the difference. Think of what a difference it makes when you're having a bad day and someone takes the time to reach out with humor, maybe just going out of their way to smile at you.
And we all know from experience that initiating an act of humor also leaves us feeling better. One of my favorite ways of getting out of a bad mood is to do something nice for someone. Psychologically, this breaks my pattern of negative, self-absorbed thinking by causing me to focus outside myself.
Being humorous is not only an attitude and a way of being in the world. It's also a habit you can develop. Here are three things you can do to strengthen your "humor habit":
1. Each day plan to do one small unexpected nice thing for someone, maybe a coworker, friend, or family member.
2. When something stressful is happening ask yourself "What can I do to bring more joy to this situation?" Often this can mean doing the unexpected: putting on a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, slowing down and giving someone a compliment, or passing out some chocolates.
3. Buy a few props like a rubber chicken or Groucho Marx glasses and have them handy for taking a quick joy break. Sometimes just taking a rubber chicken out of your desk and showing it to a coworker can create a much needed laugh.
Developing the humor habit, like any other habit or life skill can take time and trial and error. After a while, you'll learn what works for you. And if you're worried about making a mistake, or taking the risk of initiating humor and having no one laugh, we'll address that next month, so stay tuned!
For free articles about laughter go to
3. WHAT'S GOOD STORIES
It's so easy to see all the bad things around us, that sometimes we forget about all the great things that go on. And we need to hear about good things because that gives us hope and inspires us to go out and do more good things.
In this section, I want to hear from you. What's happened in your life that's good? What things have people done that inspire you to be kind to others? What funny things have happened?
Email your short stories to me at email@example.com, and if I publish yours, you get a free copy of my tape "I'm OK But YOU Need Professional Help!"
This month's story is contributed by Craig Senior of the Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.
Craig helps people look inside themselves at who they are, take stock and decide who they will become using "The Compass." He delivers seminars to large and small groups of all ages. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
FOCUSING ON SUCCESS
I hate gardening. I used to live behind a jungle between the curb and my front door. This unique ecosystem was home for many species of plants, animals, and insects. I swear I saw Tarzan swing through there one night. I should have placed "Biohazard" signs on the lawn (I use the term "lawn" loosely).
That is until recently when a friend of mine came over with a carload of gardening tools and sporting a safari hat. He was on a mission I could tell. He got out of his car and stopped in his tracks. I asked him what he thought. He said, "I usually deal with small gardening wounds but this one requires open garden surgery!"
After a couple of minutes of sharing his ideas, we started in. We didn't care that something was my task or his task. Sometimes he used the rake and sometimes I used it. Sometimes he used the shears and sometimes I used them. Sometimes we'd use his ideas and as I gained the confidence to make suggestions, we used mine. It didn't matter because we weren't concerned about whose ideas were used. We were only concerned with improving the garden.
Luckily (for me that is because it was a blistering hot day) I snuck in the house to prepare lunch. During lunch, I apologized for sneaking into the coolness of the house. My friend reassured me, "If you didn't prepare lunch and keep us in drinks, I could not work either. Your taking the time to do that was a time investment..." and then he said something profound. He said very simply, "Each according to our skills." That is, it doesn't matter what each of us does as long as it contributes to the team effort.
The same lesson applies to business. I can't help but think that we would become that much more successful if each of us focused on what the team needs to accomplish and less on who's work this is or who's work that is... if we understood each other's strengths and how they might complement each other's weaknesses... if we stopped asking, "What can you do for me?" and started asking, "What can I do for you and what we can do together?"
Wayne Gretzky, "The Great One" became a hockey legend because he focused his hockey career on helping the team, not helping himself. In the process of doing that, he helped himself. I wonder if Wayne does gardening?
4. CLASSIFIED ADS
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for presenters at: http://www.granirer.com/ComedyCourse.htm
5. CONTACT INFORMATION David Granirer gives laughter in the workplace presentations for hundreds of organizations throughout North America. For more information on his presentations, stand-up comedy, products, and articles call (604) 205-9242 or go to http://www.granirer.com.
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