Sunday, September 09, 2007

Laugh It Up

Just a reminder, fun is a core SPACE value. In four years, 200 students and leaders and over fifteen teams, fun and laughter have been key components of our experiences.
In a neurological sense, laughing represents the shortest distance between two people because it instantly interlocks limbic systems. This immediate, involuntary reaction, as one researcher puts it, involves "the most direct communication possible between people - brain to brain - with our intellect just going along for the ride, in what might be called a "limbic lock." No surprise, then, that people who relish each other's company laugh easily and often; those who distrust or dislike each other, or who are otherwise at odds, laugh little together, if at all.
In any work setting, therefore, the sound of laughter signals the group's emotional temperature, offering one sure sign that people's hearts as well as their minds are engaged. In a study of 1,200 episodes of laughter during social interactions, the laugh almost always came as a friendly response to some ordinary remark like "nice meeting you," not to a punchline. A good laugh sends a reassuring message: We're on the same wavelength, we get along. It signals trust, comfort and a shared sense of the world; as a rhythm in a conversation, laughing signals that all is well for the moment.
- Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee
Photo: D and I. Otherwise, I have no idea.

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