A Sense of Humor Makes Sense

A Funny Bone To Pick


Having a funny bone means that you have a sense of humor.  It doesn’t mean you are necessarily a good joke teller or storyteller but that you appreciate those who are. And it demonstrates that you have an appreciation for that which is ironic, satirical, oddly juxtaposed …and funny. You rank high on HQ— humor quotient.

A FUNNY bone is often accompanied by a hearty laugh or good giggle. My friend Becky Gordon has the best giggle. I’ve used the GORDON Giggle TEST to decide which cartoons I’ll buy for my books.  It’s even better if the laughter is infectious and hers is. For me, being around people who have a hardly discernible sense of humor …or one so vastly different from mine that is seems there is none…is deadly boring. They are usually more work than I care to do. I prefer to hang out, work, consult and speak with people who find the humor in situations.

We can assess who in our business networks we ought to spend time with based on productive, dynamic conversations, enjoyment and humor. I can’t ever recall saying:  “I ought to make a call (or get together with “Joe”), if I think he is devoid of humor.”

Having a sense of humor allows us to diffuse disagreements, give all members of a team (or family) time to take a pause that refreshes and it can further develop camaraderie. A sense of humor is said to contribute to success in the workplace. 


Confession: I don’t tell jokes.  I don’t like them and I don’t know how to do it. When I hear someone introduce their joke with,”Did you hear the one about….”, I want to run.

Thanks to my grandfather, I come from a line of storytellers. Archie Cohen would help his grandchildren figure out the punchline by laughing when he got to it. And it worked! And that method of “punchline positioning”: rubbed off on several of us.  Because I see the funny situations around me, it’s easy to gather material and then practice stories and punchlines in my conversations.

We all have the same opportunities to collect stories that are original because they happen in our daily lives. Whether it’s about our pets, parents, progeny or the DMV, life provides us with material that we can use to make conversation and connect with people.

I’ll often mention a “bit” I heard Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert or Trevor Noah do that cracked me up. If the person didn’t see it and seems open and interested, I paraphrase. If the response is negative about these late night comic geniuses, I segue to another topic.  Or I’ll mention something I’ve done or encountered that, in retrospect, made me smile. For example, I’ll mention how I scoured the office looking for my glasses and they were on my head. And I’ll smile as I share this moment of exasperation and humor.

Humor is  one criterion by which we can both clean out and expand our business and personal networks. Do you choose to spend time with someone and never share a smile or laugh?  You may want to reconsider spending that time with someone else.

LEADERS and Laughter

We connect and admire industry and professional leaders who have a sense of humor. As former President General Eisenhower said, “A sense of humor is part of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” Well said!

Ways To Expand Your Humor Quotient:

  •     Read posts and articles written by comedians/humorists.

  •     Attend comedy competitions.
  •     Watch Old Comedians’ Classic routines on youtube®
  •     Look for opportunities to attend comedy clubs in your area.
  •    Watch comedies.  (Currently I watch Big Bang Theory, Mom, Black-ish, Full Frontal, Last Week Tonight, The Daily Show and the new Odd Couple —who are still odd).
  •    Show up at local comedy club open mic nights.
  •    Take a comedy class/humor workshop
  •    Hang out with people who have a hearty laugh!

Bring your sense of humor to every business event as you work the room with the intent to have a good time…and you will!  After all, having a sense of humor makes sense.

About Susan RoAne

Susan RoAne leads a double life as a sought-after professional keynote speaker and a bestselling author. Known as The Mingling Maven®, she gives diverse audiences the required tools, techniques and strategies they need to connect and communicate in today’s global business world. The San Francisco Chronicle says she has a “dynamite sense of humor.” To hire Susan to speak for your company, association or college, 1.415.461.3915