Two Stanford Lecturers and Comedians Create a Course About Bringing Humor into the Workplace

IBL News | New York

Two lecturers from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and comediants have created on the “Remotely Humorous” course in collaboration with comedians who have written for The Onion, Comedy Central, and Funny or Die.

The instructors, Naomi Bagdonas —a media and strategy consultant, and author of Humor, Seriously— and Connor Diemand-Yauman, co-CEO of the nonprofit Merit America– explore the importance of workplace humor through a behavioral science lens.

The three skills-building course includes a highly entertaining series of video lectures and assessments that elaborate on the importance of bringing laughter into the workplace and the right ways to deploy it. The duration of the class is for two months, and it costs $200.

Diemand-Yauman explained: “Humor can make teams more bonded and effective, and help leaders are more authentic and trustworthy. And it’s especially relevant now. The shift to remote work, he points out, have left many people feeling particularly isolated and lonely.”

On her hand, Naomi Bagdonas added: “Unlike most other online courses, it’s heavily based on activities; so you can take it with your team and do the activities together. It’s almost like an intensive culture boot camp—just with slightly fewer trust falls.”  

The first course in the program focuses on reigniting your sense of humor at work and learning comedy techniques from the pros.  The second course is about understanding the cultural enablers of humor in an organization. The third course focuses on making a fundamental shift in your teams and organizations to get humor to stick.