Each quarter the Silicon Valley Junto, a discussion forum for business and technology executives that Chris Yeh and I run, gathers to discuss an intellectual topic that’s not directly related to business or technology. It’s an invitation-only lunch held on the peninsula and in San Francisco.
Our topic this quarter was: Funny Business: Using Humor to Thrive in the Professional World.
At the Trinity Ventures office in Menlo Park about a dozen super interesting people gathered to analyze this very serious issue. In San Francisco, at the North American headquarters of Comcate, Inc., a dozen people from slightly different backgrounds (more women, more non-profit heads) tackled the same topic.
Check out the notes from the meeting for the insights we collectively gathered. If you want them in more organized fashion you’ll have to wait for the e-book on humor Chris and I are writing. Here’s Tim Taylor’s useful post about the meeting, and Jackie Danicki’s post.
Here are photos from the two meetings on Flickr.
2 comments on “Funny Business: Using Humor to Thrive in the Professional World”
I am a big fan of humor in business (as a matter of fact, I have done stand-up twice in my life).
But I will tell you that I have also had issues with my style of telling a lot of jokes and trying to make people laugh. I think you have to realize that some people just don’t have much of a sense of humor. Telling jokes and making people laugh is always a good thing in my mind but many people just don’t want to laugh!
You’re right there’s a fine line between being funny and *trying* to be funny and bombing, or worse, offending someone. I think the best humorists can find generic humor that lightens a meeting or finds rapport, but I agree some people are more inclined to laugh than others.