How to Use Humour as a Professional Superpower | How To Academy


Tue, 13 October 2020

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT


How to Use Humour as a Professional Superpower

Dr Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas in conversation with Matthew Stadlen

At Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Dr. Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas teach some of the world’s best business minds how to build levity into their organizations and lives.

Some people think the workplace is no place for funny business. But a recent survey of more than 700 CEOs showed that 98% prefer job candidates with a sense of humour, and 84% think that funny employees do better work. With good reason: research has shown that humour makes us appear more competent and confident, strengthens relationships and boosts resilience during difficult times.

Both lecturers at Stanford, comedian Naomi Bagdonas and psychologist Jennifer Aaker’s research into humour has shown that exhibiting humour in the workplace can enhance our influence and status, build bonds and defuse tension within teams, enhance creativity and problem-solving, and even make us more likeable.

Based on one of the most oversubscribed courses amongst Stanford MBAs, and drawing on behavioural science, advice from world-class comedians and stories from senior leaders, this talk will teach you how to:

  • Enhance creativity and problem-solving
  • Influence and motivate others
  • Build bonds and defuse tension within teams
  • Create a culture where colleagues feel safe, appreciated and joyful

Humour is a superpower. If you’re not using it, the joke’s on you.

Praise for Dr Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas’s new book Humour, Seriously:

‘A smart, funny, brilliant book on how to be smart about being funny, brilliantly’ – Sarah Cooper
Humour, Seriously gives us the tools we need to deploy humour expertly in any environment’ – Susan Cain
‘An intoxicating mix of science, strategy and slapstick – a knee-slapping, mind-expanding tour de force’ – Daniel H. Pink
‘This book has finally convinced me that joking around can actually be important and powerful’ – Ed Gamble
‘Eye-opening, important and utterly enjoyable. Come for the humour, stay for the insights’ – Arianna Huffington

This event takes place at 6:30pm BST.

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Dr Jennifer Aaker

Behavioral psychologist and author focusing on the psychology of time, money and happiness.

Dr Jennifer Aaker is a behavioral psychologist, author and the General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her research focuses on the pyschology of time and money and the choices driving lasting happiness. She teaches courses on innovation, the power of storytelling and purpose.

Naomi Bagdonas

Stanford lecturer, strategy and media consultant and professionally trained comedian.

Naomi Bagdonas is a Stanford lecturer, a strategy and media consultant and a professionally trained comedian. Naomi has designed and facilitated innovation workshops and strategy offsites for the boards and leadership teams of Fortune 100 companies. She performs improv and sketch comedy in Los Angeles.

Private: Matthew Stadlen

Broadcaster, writer and regular How To Academy host.

Matthew Stadlen is a broadcaster, writer and regular How To Academy host. Previously he was an LBC presenter, wrote The Matthew Stadlen Interview for the Telegraph and presented the TV series Five Minutes With and On The Road With for the BBC. He is a birdwatcher and photographer, and his book How To See Birds is out now. Twitter: @matthewstadlen