A manager at a company was interviewing a job candidate. The manager said, “We need a very responsible person for this job. We need someone who can take charge.” The candidate’s eyes lit up, and he responded with great enthusiasm. “Sir, your search ends here! I’m the one. In my previous job, whenever something went wrong, everybody said I was responsible.”
In this play on words, the manager uses “responsible” to mean “take charge.” But the candidate’s meaning is different. He means “to be the cause of something.” And in this case, that something is bad. In the real world, no serious job candidate will make this mistake in an interview. But maybe this candidate was actually joking at the time.
Telling a joke during a job interview might be risky. But authors Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher may disagree. They have written a book called The Levity Effect. “Levity” comes from the Latin meaning “light.” It carries the idea of treating serious matters with lightness and humor. The authors say that humor at work is a serious matter. They even claim that humor can help build a more productive, focused, loyal, and successful workforce. What is your place of work like? Is it fun? The Levity Effect claims a good workplace should be fun and humorous.
The book is based on research, and the research says this: When leaders create a fun place to work, there are a number of positive results. Employees begin to trust each other more, and they work more creatively. Communication improves. All this leads to lower turnover, higher employee morale, and better profits. The book even claims that funnier managers are more successful at sales, and so they make more money than their peers.