Braverman's Blog
Terry Braverman and Company

Make Your Pain A Game


“It has to be surgically removed. There is no other way, if you wish to prevent a more serious consequence from arising.”

While in Panama, I visited a family doctor for a routine check-up. The mysterious protrusion next to the prostate was no longer a mystery. It was a hernia. The words cut through me like a scalpel. At 57, this would be my first-ever surgery as an adult. I take excellent care of my body. How can this happen? Well, it can. Still, it was a shock.

A week later, I’m lying on a bed in the pre-op room with my Panamanian girlfriend (when the nurse wasn’t there). This doesn’t need to be all grim, I reasoned. When the nurse returned, mi amor hopped off, I pulled a harmonica from my pocket, and blew through a repertoire of tunes. Nurses in the vicinity smiled and applauded.

If You’re in Management, You’re in Show Business

It was once said by an education consultant that in the United States, there is much more money spent on entertainment than education. When you fuse the two for learning purposes, the results can be dramatic. One company I know boosted their bottom line by spoofing game shows for training purposes. After several years of using the obligatory pie charts and overhead projectors to stoke productivity and raise customer satisfaction, employees responded with suppressed yawns and weak outcomes. Meetings were as exciting as a TV test pattern, so management solicited the aid of employees to spiff up the process.

Making Mirth at Meetings

Imagination Sharpens the Dull Blade of Routine Are your company meetings a source of inspiration, or perspiration? A shared laugh can kick off a meeting on a positive note by breaking tension, promoting teamwork, sparking creativity, and opening up a greater possibility for agreements. It could be in the form of a joke, story, cartoon, or an exercise. According to Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, there are only two human activities that create total brain symmetry, i.e. completely connect the brain’s left side (logical side) with the right side (creative side). Those two activities are – laughter, and sex. Since you’re not likely to start your meeting with sex, why not commence with mirth and laughter?

Appreciation Deprivation

What do employees cite as their most common grievance? Is it lack of a better wage, promotion opportunities, more benefits, flexible hours? Lack of appreciation is overwhelmingly the number one complaint, according to a recent study of the American worker. Appreciation deprivation is stifling the morale and motivation of the work force as much as anything. Why is there such a diminutive supply in today’s work environment?

Shift Happens, With Humor

The positive impact that laughter has on our attitude, insight, productivity, and overall well-being is nothing new. Throughout history, clowns, fools and court jesters plied their trade not only to entertain, but to heal people, impart wisdom, and exercise diplomacy, acting as ambassadors to other kingdoms to build goodwill and defuse conflict. The court jesters pranced around the royal palaces with patented blends of whim and wit. It was their privilege to say whatever they wished. Usually a great ruler was encircled by flatterers, and only from the jester did he ever hear the truth. The jester’s business was to tickle the royal funny bone, divert the king from the tedium of his daily affairs, and offer a slightly skewed yet enlightening perspective on those affairs of the court.

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