Real fun, fake fun, and a lesson from Swedish meat packers

If you work in certain parts of the U.S., you have the chance once a year to celebrate Fun Day. Perhaps on that special day, you made you co-workers address you by your pro-wrestling name. Maybe you placed your garbage can on the desk and labelled it “Inbox”, or channeled Celine Dion during a karaoke break. […]

When in doubt, newbie, open with a joke

Humor can be a most subtle and effective organizational communication technique. Used wisely, it can help people navigate within power relationships, manage emotional tension, and build cohesive teams. So it’s no surprise that researchers are warming to the subject of fun and humor in the workplace. In the next post, I’ll highlight a few studies […]

Leader, Meet Thy Ear

A lot of what passes for management literature paints leadership moving in one direction: good leaders are able to either pound or sweet talk their views into their followers’ heads. Yet listening — mindful listening — can be just as important a communication skill as the power of articulation. So I was pleased to see […]

The insidious power of toxic workers

You can think of Queen’s School of Business Associate Professor Jana Raver as an organizational immunologist. Raver has built an international reputation for her scholarship in toxic workplaces: specifically, in interpersonal relations, group processes, and culture. How and why do we undermine one another? How can behaviours be shaped for the better? I interviewed Raver […]