At my last consulting assignment, people who didn't work in my department would often stop me and say "You smile all the time; you must really enjoy your life."

After dessert, see what happens?
CK, Carl, Carlo, Carlito via Compfight

I'd thank them and move on, because that would also make me smile. Truth be told, a lot of the work I did was pretty tedious, so I spent a lot of the day listening to different videos and audio files, and a lot of them were funny so I laughed a lot.

I've learned that laughter and smiling is a pretty natural thing. It's also something that makes others feel pretty comfortable around you. Yes, there's a lot of serious stuff that goes on in business, but for the most part little of it is so serious that you can't find something to laugh at.

Laughter is not only good for leaders but for departments as well. In a news story titled The 5 Laws Of Laughter In Leadership, the author says "Laughter increases productivity, develops creativity, expands learning, strengthens relationships, builds teamwork, creates opportunities, prompts creativity and, yes, enhances leadership."

Yet, most of us rarely see a director or supervisor laugh. Their stress becomes everyone else's stress because everything seems like the world is about to end; at least in their eyes.

I've never been like that. Most issues that come up aren't really all that serious; yes, I said that. Even if there's a deadline for something it's rarely as serious as a director makes it. I still laugh when someone decides that an item is so crucial that it warrants a lot of worry. As I said, some things can be that serious but if everything was that way you're working in the wrong business because you're going to burn out pretty fast.

Here's one for you. Did you know that during many medical procedures someone is considered the funny one, the one who says things to help relieve the tension?

When I had breast surgery in 1997, which was in a doctor's office, even though he was a pretty deadpan kind of guy he actually cracked a couple of jokes. At one point he said "Your muscle tissue shows that you used to life weights", and I said "Thanks for noticing Doc; no one else did." And that made him laugh; it was a wondrous sound and I figured if he could laugh while cutting me open I was probably just fine.

There's nothing wrong with trying to find a little bit of humor during the work day. Sure, there's a time when you need to buckle down to get work done, or you might have to counsel an employee for something. In the meantime, smile a lot and laugh as much as you can. Your office mates will appreciate it.