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Laugh It Up, Furballs: Sometimes Inspiring Your Staff Means Breaking Character With the Right Dash of Workplace Humor

Inclusive, uplifting humor is like a super nutrient blend for workplaces.




A MONKEY, A RHINO and a giraffe walk into Babar … is it a great joke? Probably not. But it’s mine and I’m glad I have this space to share it. Humor is such a huge part of what makes us human—even if some people are better at it than others.

The funny little secret about that is: no they’re not! As authors Brad Bitterly and Alison Wood Brooks note in this issue’s Big Lead (p38), comedy takes two or more to tango. Joke-tellers need joke-listeners! Being appreciative of others’ efforts at levity is just as much a part of the comedy equation as being the funniest one in the room.

There’s even a humor style (of the four main styles every person on the planet has some skill in) that belongs to people who are great at enjoying comedy. It’s called the “Magnet” style. Stanford behavioral scientists Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas describe Humor Magnets as “expressive, charismatic and easy to make laugh.”

What does all of this have to do with your cannabis business? In “Have You Heard the One About …”, Chris Burslem lists all the ways that encouraging humor in the workplace can help with productivity, employee satisfaction and ultimately, better bottom-line results.

Or as GCT founding partner and columnist David Belsky says: “Employees who feel good about going to work every day are more likely to feel inspired at work, be committed to the work they’re doing, bring new and innovative ideas to your company and stay with your company long-term.”

Every happy workplace needs Magnets. Just as every happy workplace needs smiles and, when warranted, belly laughs. Of course, in many workplaces, humor gets a bad rap. These days, we are more conscious than ever about the ways jokes can be used to hurt rather than to uplift.

Me? I believe having a better awareness of humor’s dangers can and should make us better at being funny. It’s more of a challenge to be inclusive with our jollity than it is to amuse insiders with cruelty towards outsiders.

So buckle up and learn with us about actionable ways to infuse your work life with more well-deserved laughter. Even if—especially if—your best comedy trait is simply getting the joke.

Damon Poeter


5 Smart Tips From This Issue

  1. When’s the last time you pampered your staff? Take the whole gang out for a mani-pedi day—including the dudes! (Planning Calendar, p14)
  2. July 7 is World Chocolate Day. Outside of 4.20, store events don’t come any more ready-made or scrumptious. (Summer Big Dates, p14)
  3. Respect the work-life balance of staff and partners. Set your email to ‘schedule send’ after weekends. (Tip Sheet, p48)
  4. What to look for in POS software? Compatibility with regulators’ APIs, reporting capability and a great UI. (Ask GTC, p51)
  5. It’s never the wrong time to start fostering a culture of innovation at your company—those who fail to get creative in business usually get crushed. (Columns, p56)

Damon Poeter is the editor-in-chief of Global Cannabis Times, produced by SmartWork Media. Damon has had a decades-long career in journalism and publishing, including stints at, Venture Beat, Extreme Tech, Ziff Davis, United Business Media, The Nation, the San Francisco Chronicle, Japan Times and the Gilroy Dispatch.



Cannaconvo with Peter Su of Green Check Verified

Cannabis Last Week with Jon Purow interviews Peter Su of Green Check Verified. Peter Su is a Senior Vice President with Green Check Verified, the top cannabis banking compliance software/consultancy in the space. A 20+ year veteran of the banking industry, Peter serves on the Banking & Financial Services committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He chairs the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the NYCCIA & HVCIA. He is an official member of the Rolling Stone Cannabis Culture Council. And, he is on the board of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, serving as treasurer.

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