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BE☺FUN A Model to Bring FUN into the Academic Work Structure: BE☺FUN: A Model for Bringing Fun to Academic Work Julie Wolter, Utah State University Jill Champley, University of Nebraska Omaha Sherri Franklin-Guy, Scott Taylor, Margot Kelman, andamp; Christine Scott, Wichita State University Gentleman, why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die, and you need this medicine as much as I do. Abraham Lincoln Fun, Humor and Laughter Valuable Assets in the Academic Work Setting Laughter specifically improves mental functioning, decreases stress hormones, and increases pain threshold and tolerance (Barth, 1990; Berk, 2002). A strong relationship has been found between humor and creativity (Caudron, 1992; Morreall, 1991; Thorson, Powell, Sarmany-Schuller, andamp; Hampes, 1997). Clouse (1993,1994) reports benefits of workplace humor, including minimizing employee status differences, alleviating tension, improving socialization, breaking down barriers, relaxing people, and creating rapport. Kushner (1990) describes humor as a form of communication that builds morale, manages conflict, motivates people, influences corporate culture and improves productivity. When people are relaxed they are productive (Engeler, 1990). By creating a workplace that encourages people to have fun, value humor, and be themselves, work becomes an extension of who one is and perhaps a comfortable place to spend time (Yerkes, 2001). Fun and Humor… where appropriate, is a way to encourage and affirm relationships and is a license to (Schnuer, 2004). B Schedule to accommodate work style and personal life. Make service relevant to research or other interests. Negotiate mix of academic-trilogy elements. alance responsibilities E F U N ncourage trust oster diversity nite in celebration urture communication Celebrate success to acknowledge effort and achievement, and encourage fun. Create traditions and social opportunities where spontaneous fun can occur. Advance communication and connectivity to support effective collaboration. Allow all staff, regardless of tenure or status, to contribute and problem solve. Support academia’s inherent diversity. Actively seek individual opinions and viewpoints. Begin discussion/journal groups to foster diversity and respect. Fun is not unprofessional (Yerkes, 2001). Encourage innovative thinking and trust by dedicating specific times in meetings for 'outrageous' thinking. Fun means different things to different people But one thing that is often true for most of us is that fun is a natural by-product of doing work that is aligned with our deepest values, and work that is meaningful and worthwhile to us. ( Robert Fritz, Author of The Path of Least Resistance at Work ) ☺

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