This book by a writer and corporate trainee based in Bangalore is the second book after the one on the unique sense of humour possessed by Mahatma Gandhi. Humour helps one to return home from the workplace in a happy frame of mind. This is a necessity because if it is missing, one would be carrying the after-effects of events at the workplace to his home, with a mind full of problems, worries and anxiety.
An even more dangerous feature of this tendency is an ever-worsening situation day by day at the office without any self-correcting possibility. Humour at the workplace acts as an effective antidote to this vicious phenomenon, besides helping to tackle problems of all types in such a way that they do not leave any residue of tension and distress.
Best of all, humour is to laugh at oneself as it is the most enjoyable and rewarding phenomenon. Our experiences, right from our childhood days, provide ample material to narrate to others humorously, and to laugh at oneself.
This book is neither about making speeches nor about telling jokes and funny stories to make people laugh. It is a book which discusses the sense of humour and describes the several applications of humour that can be made if used as a management tool. It can help to gain attention, create rapport and make a message more memorable. It relieves tensions, enhances relationships, motivates people and resolves issues when other techniques fail to set them right. This book, apart from telling funny stories, includes highly rewarding qualities?the ability ?to hold a mirror to oneself? and laugh over self-made errors, silly mistakes and blunders; the ability to laugh at the adversities and misfortunes that are part of life; the ability to persevere towards self-fulfilment; the ability to remain calm and relaxed when tensions mount; to accept oneself for what one is and similarly accept the people around for what they are; the ability to achieve high goals as a team; to not get carried away by one'sown achievements; and the generosity to admire the contributions of others with gratitude.
The author narrates some very enthralling stories, like the one pertaining to the Second World War, when Hitler'smodernised air force bombarded Britain, causing cities to be ruined. The British retained their sense of humour even in the face of such adversity. Some shopkeepers lost the roofs of their shops but they erected bold signboards, saying, ?We?re more open for business!?
Another incident related is about a young applicant who on applying for a job was asked, ?Are you married??
?No!? he replied, ?But I know how to take orders, if that'swhat you mean!?
Another one is about a professor of economics who told his colleague who was a psychologist, ?I?m a walking economy!?
The psychologist asked, ?How so??
Replied the professor, ?My hairline is in recession, my paunch line is a victim of inflation; both these together are putting me into a depression.?
The highest form of humour consists of pointing a finger at oneself and laughing in the presence of others. Woodrow Wilson, the US President, used to say, ?When I was studying, everyone could get university degrees. Take the case of my friend; he had three degrees?the third was given because he already had two; the second because he had only one and the first because he had none!?
As we grow up, we lose our playfulness and jovial attitude. We smile less frequently and forget how to laugh. Most of the time our laughter is faked. There are serious personal losses and to put an end to grief over such losses we have to develop a ?jocular attitude towards life in general and to the people and environment around you in particular,? says the author.
Ronald Reagan said on Jimmy Carter: ?Carter said he?d do something about unemployment; he did. In April, 825,000 Americans lost their jobs.?
In another case Reagan said, ?Carter was supposed to go on the TV programme ?60 Minutes? to talk about his accomplishments, but that left him with 59 minutes to fill!?
This book is ideal for career-minded people and those interested in having a good laugh. It highlights the importance of humour at the workplace besides helping in managing both people and relationships.
(Response Books, B 1/I1 Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, Mathura Road, New Delhi-110 044.)