My number 1 signature strength is humor and playfulness.
When I took the VIA Signature Strength inventory a number of years ago I was not surprised by this. With a name like Zinger and growing up with 4 other Zingers I am not sure whether I was born with a sense of humor or it was cultivated by living with 4 other Zingers. The term Zinger is often used to refer to different types of humor. If you have not taken the VIA Signature Strength Inventory do so now by going to: www.authentichappiness.org.
Were you surprised by your number one signature strength?
Was the strength a confirmation of what you already knew?
My work has always involved humor and playfulness. Even my Master’s of Education thesis was: The Factors and Functions of Humour in Counselling. It was not very funny but my committee allowed me to put a few jokes in it. They would not let me call it: This Thesis is a Joke: An Examination of Humour in Counselling (American readers please note that we usually put “u” in humor and just for the “l” of it we put an extra l in counselling).
Here are some ways I cultivate my signature strength:
I love to be playful and humorous with all groups I lead…from word play to self-deprecating humor.
As a child, I was often the one to diffuse conflict through the use of humor.
I am very playful as I write and create workshops…playing with ideas and concepts. I will also play with the way I present as I am presenting. I believe Sigmund Freud said the mark of sanity is to blur the lines between work and play.
I always have funny slides in any PowerPoint presentation and I usually tell groups I work with amusing personal anecdotes or stories from the news. The real PowerPoint is not a slide but our points of connection often infused with humor that energize both of us.
I write a humor blog in conjunction with this blog: www.zingers.blogspot.com. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to resist a bad pun!
I like to laugh with people over the phone as we do business together and I will be playful in many of my emails but I don’t care to send many of those “funny” emails that people keep sending me.
Much of my humor is simply noticing things around me with a Candid Camera like view of the world.
My favorite quote is from a woman by the name of Jane N. God grant me the laughter to see the past with perspective, face the future with hope, and celebrate today without taking myself too seriously.
Humor and playfulness comes easy to me — which is a characteristic of a strength. In writing the list above I needed to stop myself because I could keep going on and on and that would not be funny.
Sometimes we take our own strengths so much for granted that we minimize them or fail to see what a powerful resource these strengths can be for ourselves and others. Take a look at your number one signature strength.
Can you easily generate a list of how you use your strength?
Do you miss opportunities to live your top strength at work?
How many times have you demonstrated your strength today?
What can you do to get even stronger with your top strength?
Next article: CIO: Curiosity, Interest, & Openness.
P.S. I am spelling-challenged. I use the spell check that comes with www.blogger.com. It is amusing to me that is does not have the word blog in the spelling dictionary…yet that is what everyone is doing at this site. The spell check also recommends replacing Technorati, the huge blogging tag-site, with degenerate. I appreciate even small dosages of my strength!