• open panel
  • Home
  • Book Recommendations
  • Permission to Speak – Leadership Blog – Kelly Vandever Interviews June Cline on Leaders and Humor

Permission to Speak – Leadership Blog – Kelly Vandever Interviews June Cline on Leaders and Humor


Permission to Speak

Leadership Video Blog & Podcast

Hosted by Leadership Communications Expert Kelly Vandever

Permission to Speak is the video blog and podcast that loiters at the intersections of leaders who want their people to speak up, technology that facilitates connections, and results that serve an organization’s higher purpose.

Our guest for this episode:  June Cline, CSP

About June Cline:

June Cline is a Keynote Speaker, Best Selling Author, Humorist and President of The Center for Laughing and Learning: Where ROI Meets LOL.  June shares her research and expertise using the power of laughter to build team cooperation, camaraderie and kindness which boost the bottom line. The return on investment (ROI) of laughing out loud (LOL) with colleagues, clients and those for whom they care is measurable in retention, loyalty and trust.

A former college administrator, June draws on her experiences in education, banking and career development to teach audiences to initiate humor to gain recognition, respect and reward.  June’s wit and wisdom has appeared in publications and media outlets as diverse as CNN, The Boston Globe, Inc., Selling Power, Harvard Management Communications Letter, Speaker, Competitive Edge, Redbook, First for Women and Gannett News Services.

For more information about humor and June’s programs, go to June’s website JuneCline.com

Topics Discussed:

– As a child, June learned humor as a way to diffuse difficult situations

– Later in life, in awkward or difficult situations at work, June’s natural propensity to find a one liner or a quip of humor that broke the ice and helped people understand and communicate better

– Funny will shift the energy in the room

– ROI of LOL

– Initiating humor

– Is the humor positive or negative?  Is the humor pointed in or pointed out?  Those things make a difference in how the humor is received

– Every organization has a corporate humor style

– IMOs – Idiot Moments

– June found humor helped her career and helped get her recognized and asked to be on committees; people wanted to be around her because she made them laugh

– Humor alone isn’t enough.  If a leader’s humor style is caustic, then they may alienate member of their team

– Caustic humor, aimed at others, doesn’t work unless you have a large emotional bank account already established with those who are the butt of the humor

– June discovered 4 humor styles:  They are Crazy, Caring, Cerebral, and Caustic

– People and cultures generally fall within one of these comedic styles

– Crazies – are wild and out there, they love attention

– Caring – more wholesome, perspective, real-life driving; they’ll tell on themselves or on their family

– (Get permission before telling on your family!)

– Cerebrals – dry humor, smart, thinking humor

– Caustic – biting humor, harsh, more sarcastic

– These styles are generalization, humor is as individual as each of us, we all have some of each type of humor

– Tensions come when people have different humor styles and they don’t get each other

– Visit JuneCline.com – take a humor quiz to find out your humor style and how you initiate humor

– Missing out on connections if you don’t try to tap into the humor styles of those in your group

– Humor is always determined by the ears of the listener

– As a leader, if your humor isn’t landing it might be because (1) the humor is pointed toward others and you don’t have a big emotional bank account with that person/group (2) you don’t have a dog in that hunt, in other words, you’re not part of that group and don’t have the right to use that humor

– (see Steven R. Covey’s writing for more info on the emotional bank account)

– For every negative, it takes 20 positives to overcome the one negative; some say it’s 88 positives to overcome one negative

– If a leader is having problems with humor, they should tell on themselves

– June calls them IMOs = Idiot Moments

– By sharing about an IMO, leaders are letting their guard down and being more real

– Leaders don’t have to be perfect, it makes the leader more human, creates a better connection

– June gives an example of one employee who didn’t quit once he understood his boss’ comedic style, their relationship improved and it saved their company $100,000 that it would have cost to replace him

– Organizations have a style of humor too

– Pay attention to what’s not working or what consistently always happens, use a quip or a quote to lighten the mood

– Humor changes brain chemistry

– Go APE with your humor where A stands for Awareness, P stands for Permission and E stands for Fun!

– ROI of LOL!

– For more information about humor and June’s programs, go to June’s website JuneCline.com

Questions Answered:

– Is humor in the workplace important?

– Should leaders use humor at work?

– What do you do as a leader if your employees don’t think you’re funny?

– Why don’t people think I’m funny?

– Is there a return on investment associated with humor in the workplace?

– What are the different styles of humor?

– What are different comedy styles?

– How can my sense of humor help me at work?

– Can a sense of humor help me at work?

– What should I do if people find my humor offensive at work?

– Why do my co-workers find my humor offensive?

– What should I do if I work for someone who has a terrible sense of humor?

– Is there such a thing as having no sense of humor?

– Do organizations have a corporate sense of humor?

– Can I be funnier at work?

Book Recommendation:

Happiness Recipe:  Whippin’ Up Happiness with Wit, Wisdom and Wonderful Food


The video above was actually my second interview with June.

Because of the poor audio quality of this interview, we decided to we’d try the interview again.  While there’s certainly overlap in the interviews, there were great information in each interview that’s not in the other interview.  So in the interest of humanity and all that is comedy sacred, we’re sharing both interviews.

Below was our first attempt. There’s good material here if you don’t mind listening through the poor quality of the recording.

Enjoy if you can!

Click here to see more about CNN’s documentary on Humor