Humor and Team Dynamics

While speaking with a good friend of mine over dinner, we began discussing our past and current projects at the Entertainment Technology Center.  I realized something that I believe might be surprisingly important to a strong team and that thing is having similar senses of humor.

Sure, a team can have team activities – meals, games, gatherings, etc. – but the most important time that the team will be spending together is at work, and how do you keep the mood light during work?  Humor!  Therefore, it is really helpful for a team to have similar senses of humor because that is how you will interact with each other when you begin getting bored.

My friend and I came to this conclusion because last semester, he was on a team with other students who had dry, sarcastic, and often hyperbolic types of humor like him, and this really made the whole semester and being in the room with the others feel like play.  This semester though, it is clear that his teammates’ personalities and senses of humor are less in line with his.  His default jokes don’t seem to get the fully desires responses, and his relationship to others therefore reaches a limit of “on-the-same-brainwave”-ness.

Solutions?  I don’t know here.  This seems more like a fundamental limit to a team dynamic.  If you can’t joke together in your most natural and preferred ways, it’s very difficult to change your sense of humor in the near future.

Senses of humor are distinctive for everyone, and seem quite important for a team to be able to enjoy themselves while together, especially under stressful circumstances.  If you are looking for a team to have a stellar team dynamic that will hopefully translate to product quality, having similar senses of humor probably helps a lot.

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