vPsychology for Business


We are dedicated to bringing out the best in you and your employees


Vol. 3, Number 15                                                                                                    Aug. 23, 2002



Psychology for Business is a free e-mail newsletter written by Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass, Dr. John Weaver, and Dr. Lynda Dahlke, business psychologists and independent consultants. It is published bi-weekly. You’ve received this newsletter because you’ve subscribed to it or it was forwarded to you by a friend or colleague. To subscribe sign up at our website,
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Doing Business Can Be Fun!

By Paul Kenneth Glass, PhD

Psychology for Business



Are you having fun yet?  This is the question I have been asking business leaders over the past year.  With the threats of terrorism, unethical bookkeeping, and public distrust, the economic recovery has been a less than impressive.  Therefore, it is difficult to feel the “fun” in doing business.  Work seems to be stressful and unrewarding.  We are all just trying to keep our heads above the water.  


Wait a minute!  Having fun doing business and enjoying the work environment is not dependent on the economy, battling terrorists or unscrupulous accounting.  It is dependent on how we cope with the business realities that are out of our control.  Instead of “beating each other up” and blaming one another for the financial difficulties most businesses are experiencing, we need to wake up and “smell the roses”. 


No I am not losing it!  We are getting lost in our own self pity.  What about the joy of doing business in this country.  What about the freedoms, opportunities and good financial fortunes we have been blessed with for many years?  How quickly we forget the GOOD TIMES, when we have to endure the more challenging demands we presently face.  Business in America is GREAT!  Where is it better?   What kind of life style do you live?  Do you have any luxuries?  Where were you able to buy these things?  Do you have a nice warm (or cool), comfortable place to live?  Do we have good roads and transportation systems to send and receive your “necessities”?  Do you have loving families and friends who enjoy the health and comforts that have been made available by the enterprising freedoms we so often take for granted?


I think doing business is FUN!  Business is not just profits.  We have work environments that provide intellectual stimulation, occupational opportunities, safe work locations and colleagues that enrich our lives.  Of course, not all work relationships are perfect but I would venture a guess that you like someone, and some aspect of your job, in your work setting.  Recent studies have produced evidence that the majority of people like their employment.


Now is the time to struggle together.  No person is totally free of the impact of the past years down-turn. We will most often become closer to each other when we fight together, versus pointing fingers and accusing others for the business’ problems.   


Let’s return to the basics. Relax. Laugh. Play.  Or, did you forget how?  Is it immature to show your “goofy” side? I think not!  It is necessary to find the lighter side of ourselves. Certainly stress is running high.  What a great opportunity to break the tension with appropriate jokes and laughter.  Bring in a treat and stop work for 15 minutes and talk to one another.  Will the extra time away from your work cause enormous losses for the company?  Look at the research that shows the benefits of additional breaks, and giving employees more “company” time to get to know each other.  Studies confirm the necessity for social interaction in order to make workers feel they are an important part of a company.  This social sharing significantly increases the willingness of co-worker to be open, honest and able to “feel” the joys (and the burdens) of their co-workers (and their company) according to Hardiness Research at the University of Chicago. Also, it is important to remember that when you work next to a human being that has a sense of humor, the chance is you will lighten up, smile more, and gain more satisfaction from your work.  As a result, PRODUCTION GOES UP, and you don’t even have to ask for it.


“The most successful people in business do not just go out to work – they go out to enjoy themselves in their world of business and making money is a dividend to them” (Humor: The Fun Side of Business, James Poon Teng Fatt).  Neglecting humor as a serious part of business actually results in 1) high work stress, 2) communication breakdown, 3) low morale, 4) absenteeism, 5) high labor turnover, 6) poor productivity, 7) and low quality of service and products (Fatt, 1998).


Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y, explains the place of humor and “fun” in business and work.   What are the benefits? 


1)      Increased ability to deal with absurdities in the business organization.

2)      Lowering of tensions, anger, pain so often distressing and depressing so many.

3)      Helps solving problems.

4)      Brings out another side of many workers, showing their human side versus only being a work machine.

5)      Allows personalization of work environments, and creates a “home like” feeling in their work space.

6)      Lifts spirits and increases energy.

7)      Increases motivation

8)      Stimulates creativity (which can result in improved ways to do their job.

9)      Makes working in teams more agreeable (with more possibilities to support others and feel supported yourself.

10)  Helps establish better understanding between workers which increases communication and tolerance of differences.


Weinberger and Gulos’ research has shown that humor (and fun in the work environment) enhances the likability of the source from which it comes (Journal of Advertising, 1992).  Humor in teaching has been shown to influence student’s attitudes toward their school teachers, and education in general.  What can it do in your business organization?  Why not try it? Be creative and have fun making work enjoyable.  A happy employee will give you back ten times more than what it costs you to find ways to integrate fun, humor, and a flexible work environment.


GET OUT THERE AND HAVE FUN!  Life is too short. Make the many hours you put in at work LESS SERIOUS.  Look for the positive. Be creative versus routine. After all, you can’t control the economy, but you can control your attitude toward humor, fun and excitement you generate in your organization.


HEY, DOING BUSINESS CAN BE FUN!  Don’t just think about it, DO IT!

About the Author

Paul Kenneth Glass, Ph.D. is a Harvard and Northwestern University educated psychologist, and has studied in three countries. He has provided 25 years of consultations to government agencies, public and private businesses, and educational institutions and was a union president and negotiator. His advising to international corporations offers the benefit of multicultural understanding of organizations that is rare in the field of business psychology consulting. Finally, Dr. Glass has experience on the equal opportunity commission of a large suburban city.

Based in Waukesha, WI, Dr. Paul Glass is available for consultation or coaching by phone, e-mail or in person. He may be reached at (262) 544-9918 (office) by e-mail at mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com or:

Paul Kenneth Glass, Ph.D.
Psychology for Business
2717 North Grandview Boulevard, Suite 303
Waukesha, Wisconsin, 53188

Did you know that executive coaching is not geographically limited?  Coaching by telephone is effective.  It is also an efficient use of time and resources.  You never need to leave your office to travel, nor do you need to pay travel expenses for your coach. We offer coaching either onsite or by telephone. To find out if coaching is right for you, contact us to schedule a FREE 1/2 hour consultation.  Or request a price sheet to determine the best value for your organization.  Call us at: (262) 789-2728 or email us at mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com.


 All of our previous newsletters are archived at http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/eNewsletter.htm.  Check out the series on The Vitamin C’s of an Emotionally Healthy Workplace, the series on Dealing with Difficult Employees, links to our Published Articles and our newest series, Triple “A” Leadership.


o order your copy of the book, MANAGING DIFFICULT PERSONALITIES IN THE WORKPLACE: A Manager’s Practical Guide, by Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass, send your name, address, number of copies desired and a check made out to Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass for $12 per book (plus $2 shipping per book).  Or order 10 or more copies for $10 per book and $6.95 for shipping (up to 50 copies).  No fluff, this book gets right to the point. Send orders to:

Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass
Psychology for Business
2717 N. Grandview Blvd. #303
Waukesha, WI 53188   

Email: mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com

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Dr. John Weaver
Psychology for Business
2717 N. Grandview Blvd. #303
Waukesha, WI 53188

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© Copyright 2002All rights reserved. Paul Kenneth Glass. Distribution rights: The above material is copyrighted, but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is changed, added or deleted, including the contact information. If you would like to reprint part of this newsletter please contact me at mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com to make arrangements.


Sharing this newsletter with colleagues and friends, under these conditions, is encouraged.


If you have a question or topic you would like to see covered, send your request to mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com


New!  Subscriber Corner.  In each newsletter, we will highlight some of our subscribers at the end of each issue. It is an opportunity for you to learn more about other organizations who are part of the Psychology for Business family. It is also a chance for you to highlight your business efforts. To have your organization listed, please send a brief (4 to 7 lines) description that will tell readers about who you are, what you do, and how to get in contact with you. This service is offered to our readers free of charge (although we hope you will share the newsletter with lots of your potential customers and that you will encourage them to sign up for Psychology for Business!) on a first come, first served basis.  Send your information to mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com. All of our readers are invited to be listed in Subscriber Corner. Listing does not imply that we endorse any specific business.

Dr. John Weaver publishes another newsletter, co-authored by Darlene Weaver, THE CENTERED PENDULUMIt is our firm belief that lifelong patterns of “being” (personality, attitudes, emotions) and “doing” (lifestyle, adaptability, coping skills) interact with our genes and environment to create conditions of a healthy or a diseased brain.  If you would like to read previous issues of the Centered Pendulum newsletter or to subscribe, please visit the archives at http://www.centeredpendulum.org/newsletters.htm.