Icebreakers and Use of Humour (FINAL VER

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Good Morning to All!

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Icebreakers and Use of Humour Kvitlana Hrynkiv Julia Ustimenko Yuri Aleshine

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An Icebreaker Introductions &

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As Mark Twain once said, "Studying humor is like dissecting a frog -- you may know a lot but you end up with a dead frog.“ Since the dawn of time scientists, philosophers, poets tried to understand the essence of humour and its’ effects on people. Governments tried to control humour to no avail. Yevgeny Yevtushenko - novelist, essayist, dramatist and a screenwriter, once wrote: Tsars, Kings, Emperors, sovereigns of all the earth, have commanded many a parade, but they could not command humor. It has been recognized that sense of humour is a threefold entity: a shield -- when everything else fails to protect you; a tool -- to conquer and lead the hearts of the others – in fact, an essential tool in the art of leadership; and finally, a weapon that can occasionally backfire, if misused. In this presentation, we will look at the following questions: Can sense of humour be developed? How sense of humour can be used in training and development process or should it be present there at all? What are the DO’s and DON’Ts, should we chose to use humour in the training and development process? But first of all, let’s look at the healing powers of humour and laughter. Defining Sense of Humour

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Laughter is the Best Medicine

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He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the Laughing Buddha. In English speaking countries, he is popularly known also as the Fat Buddha. However, the "Fat Buddha" is not the historical Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama), and strictly speaking the statue is not an idol. Buddha means "one who has achieved a state of perfect enlightenment". In folklore, The Laughing Buddha is admired for his happiness, plenitude, and wisdom of contentment. It is believed that rubbing the Laughing Buddha‘s belly brings into your life wealth, good luck, and prosperity but above all, Sense of Humor. We chose him to be the symbol of this chapter of our presentation, because no other divinity in the pantheon of Gods can be a better embodiment of humour and laughter than Fat Buddha. Laughter is the Best Medicine 1

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The effects of humour on our body are quite dramatic. Dr. William F. Fry, a psychiatrist at the Stanford University School of Medicine has been studying laughter for more than 40 years. He says that 20 seconds of intense laughter, even if faked, is equivalent to 10 minutes spent rowing. Humour has the power to do many positive things to our bodies. It's responsible for elevating our mood, breaking up boredom and fatigue and giving us more resilience. It also boosts our immune system, reduces stress, relaxes muscles and lowers our blood pressure. With the increasing age of the Baby Boomers, these benefits are proving to be no laughing matter! Your humorous personal health also has positive repercussions at work. Because of humour’s social nature, those people with a healthy sense of humour are less overwhelmed in tough situations, more cheerful and less rigid. They are also able to use laughter to diffuse hostility and encourage cooperation when working in a team and completing projects. People who laugh well together -- work well together!!! Laughter is the Best Medicine 2

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Humour is No Joking Matter

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There are two schools of thought on this matter: A). A sense of humor is inherited – it is like talent: you either have it or you don’t. People who don't have it, seem not to miss it, but the ones who suffer are those who live with someone who doesn't have it. So it seems that if you are “sense-of-humour-challenged”, then there is nothing you can do about this handicap. B). It is also believed that if you can see certain qualities in another person, you most definitely have those tendencies in yourself. Therefore, if you can spot a joker, if you like good, tasteful jokes and like laugh at them, then you most definitely have a sense of humour. Can a sense of Humour be developed?

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The first question we must ask: should humour be present there at all? Tom Peters, a business guru who is always one step ahead in business thinking, says about the importance of humour at work the following: "The number one premise of business is that it need not be boring or dull. It ought to be fun. If it's not fun, you're wasting your life." It is wise to remember that laughter is the shortest distance between two people. Infusing humour into the workplace will increase creativity, teamwork and ultimately, productivity. The reality is that the best people are attracted to working environments where there is an element of fun. If good people are placed in an environment that is impersonal, cold and unfriendly for an extended period of time, that is how they will eventually behave. Many businesses are now beginning to realize that the punch line can benefit the bottom line. Robert Half International, an executive recruitment firm, conducted a survey of 1,000 executives and discovered that 84 percent of respondents felt that workers with a sense of humor do a better job. Another survey by Hodge-Cronin & Associates found that of 737 CEOs surveyed, 98 percent preferred job candidates with a sense of humour to those without. Use of Humour in Training and Development Training

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Humour differs across individuals and cultures. One person may switch off “Funniest Home Videos” with disgust, only to watch the hundredth rerun of “Fawlty Towers”. Humour can unit a group of people, or excluding others. Humour can be uplifting, wonderful, brutal or demeaning, especially when an individual or a group are made the butt of jokes. Even benign humour works by exclusion as, for example, in jokes about Irishmen, blondes or lawyers. Humour is also often a form of control. If conversation falls into a silence, it is tempting to interject a facetious remark to get rid of tension. We then assert control over the uncertainty of a situation, and ensure that superficiality reigns, which makes what seems to be a problem seem impermanent and transient. Use of Humour in Training and Development

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Self-Deprecating Humour - Poking fun of oneself can provide a much needed relief from tense situations. Self-deprecating humor relies on the observation of something negative from the past experiences of the person delivering it. Teachers and trainers use self-deprecating humor to avoid seeming arrogant or pompous, and to help the audience identify with them. Conversely, an excess of this type of humour may make other people uncomfortable and lead to serious low self-esteem issues. Bonding Humour - People who exhibit bonding humour are generally fun to be around. They tell funny jokes, lighten the mood and partake in witty banter. Bonding humour can either provide a sense of togetherness or it can isolate individual employees. Put-Down Humour - This type of humour involves teasing, sarcasm and ridicule and it tends to be a popular form of humour around the water cooler or a corporate coffee maker. If aimed at politicians, actors etc. it is harmless and can help to form social bonds, although if aimed at fellow workers, it can become a form of social aggression. The Four Types of Humour

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Observational Humour - Observational humour is the healthiest of all of the four types. People who use this type of humour have a unique outlook on life. They are always able to see the bright side of things and they don't take themselves too seriously. This enables them to deal more easily with daily stress in their life at work and at home. Observational humour is the only type of humour which can be enjoyed alone. As a result, studies that link humour with health have tended to concentrate on this type of humour. Bonding Humour & Put-Down Humour are not advisable to employ in in a classroom because they have too much potential to be misinterpreted and be taken the wrong way in a work environment. Examples are (next page): The Four Types of Humour

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Ethnic jokes / “Foreign Accent” Jokes

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“Blond jokes”

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Sexual References & Lewd Stories

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“Fat Jokes”

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Humour is a weapon “Wit is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not how to use it discreetly” - Michael de Montaigne “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: “O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it”. - François Voltaire

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Humour is a weapon “Wit is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not how to use it discreetly” - Michael de Montaigne I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: “O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it”. (François Voltaire (1694 - 1778) a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade -

Wit vs. Sarcasm (Humour As a Weapon) : 

Sense of humor is often misunderstood and misused. A humour and it’s brother, sarcasm , aren't the same thing, but they reside in the same neighborhood. While wit (or humour) is associates with the word "levity", and boosts everyone's spirits, it’s being aimed at an action, a happening or an attitude. It must be said that it’s the ability to take a joke, not make one, that often proves you have a sense of humour. A dictionary meaning of sarcasm is -- harsh or bitter derision or irony; a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark. Sarcasm aims to belittle or hurt someone, and to laugh at someone else's expense. In our culture, we associate sarcasm with the word "cutting". Wit vs. Sarcasm (Humour As a Weapon)

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Wit vs. Sarcasm (Humour As a Weapon) Here we have to distinguish between wit and sarcasm. There are two schools of thought on that : Some thinkers believe that Sarcasm is a low form of humour as its’ intent is generally to get laughs at someone else's expense. The other group of thinkers believe that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit only to those who have never mastered the art, and those who always fall victim to it. Recent research at the University of Haifa claims that sarcasm is a complex high order skill needing an ability to understand other people’s state of mind and emotions. It's not just a linguistic form, it's also related to social cognition.It’s low because it targets chiefly the sensitive, inarticulate, unsophisticated and powerless. Sarcasm is a form of humour that is known to require the highest functions of our brains. Areas of the brain that decipher sarcasm and irony also process language, recognize emotions and help understand social cues. Sarcasm is related to our ability to understand other people's mental state so it's not just a linguistic form, it's also related to social cognition. It is the form commonly employed by politicians.

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Krishtafovich: Theory of Humour

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U.S. Scientist Igor Krishtafovich discovered a formula of laughter. As it turned out, humor is a weapon. Igor Krishtafovich is confident that humor always implies aggression. “It is a bloodless verbal fight aiming to raise your status and strengthen your position. Even a friendly banter is a sort of intellectual clash, a kind of training before serious battles. In fact, we try to figure out who's the boss in the family when we poke fun at our loved ones,” says Mr. Krishtafovich. “Why the man who just cracked a nice joke is normally laughing louder than the others?” “Well, he feels on top of the world, his moment of triumph has just arrived.” Nothing can confound a wise man more than laughter from a dunce. He who laughs at his own jokes has a fine sense of the ridiculous, but no sense of humour.  - Lord Byron Peter Ustinov Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. “If laughter is akin to aggression, why women have a liking for jesters?” “A sense of humor is a strong male quality. It is a sign of good intellect. Evolution stakes precisely on the intellect since a smart fellow has more chances of survival. That is why a sense of humor can be a much bigger sign of masculinity than the pumped-up muscles.”

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According to Mr. Krishtafovich's theory, humor has always been around. Even in prehistoric times when man was just a few steps away from monkey. This is a prehistoric reaction on the level of reflex. Humankind has refined humor over thousands of years of history. Humor became more exquisite and complex. These days it is hard to make people laugh yet you can succeed if you follow the formula by Mr. Krishtafovich. Using the formula, you can even find out whether your joke was good or not.

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FESTIVE FESTIVITY Your Subtitle Goes Here “The formula is primarily for comedians, writers who write satirical pieces, and politicians. A good joke can effectively entice the voters. In teaching/training process, humour is simply an irreplaceable tool. Sure thing, you should bear in mind the mood of an audience and complexity of a joke,” says Mr. Krishtafovish.

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FESTIVE FESTIVITY Your Subtitle Goes Here The formula is as following: HE = PI x C/T + BM HE – humor effectiveness. PI – personal involvement C - complexity of a joke. The higher degree of complexity the better, provided that your audience can solve the problem within 1 or 2 seconds. T – time spent by a person solving a joke. The longer the time, the weaker the effect. BM – background mood. A joker can have an advantage if an audience enjoys the show.

The formula is as following: : 

HE = PI x C/T + BM The formula is as following: HE – humor effectiveness. PI – personal involvement C - complexity of a joke. The higher degree of complexity the better, provided that your audience can solve the problem within 1 or 2 seconds. If your audience can’t solve the joke in 1-2 seconds, then your joke is too complex. T – time spent by a person solving a joke. The longer the time, the weaker the effect. BM – background mood. A joker can have an advantage if an audience enjoys the show. However, a real good joke can “blow up” the most dismal audience.

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