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  • Writer's pictureOn Board Women

Humor and Emotional Intelligence in the Boardroom




Sometimes it is highly disregarded but there is a huge power of humor in the Board rooms especially when you are discussing tough matters. Throwing a cool joke that resonates well with people in the room may ease the air, bring sincerity, and joy moment.


According to Stanford University Executive Education’s High Potential Program faculty, Prof. Jennifer Aaker; Leaders can often use humor to build stronger connections with their team. The approach also helps foster creativity and resilience among all involved. Laughter accelerates feelings of trust, closeness, and comfort. When people share a laugh, their brains release certain hormones — endorphins and dopamine — that emulate the feeling of a runner’s high, or a brief state of extreme joy and delight. This chemical reaction in your brain is what makes you feel bonded with others.


You should have technical and social competency. Technical competency is your unique board value proposition. Social competency is your ability to listen, observe others and be self-aware.


Once you have developed your foundation, use your social competency, self-awareness and self-regulation to demonstrate your character. For example, be the last to speak.


Motivation and empathy are two essential parts of courage. Motivation in the boardroom is your commitment to lean in. Empathy is your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes — something that takes true bravery.

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