If you ever needed a really good reason to improve your performance at the front of a room or at the podium, consider this …

In an article on “Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership” published in the Harvard Business Review in September 2008, Daniel Goleman (of EQ fame) and Richard Boyatzis wrote this:

“It turns out that there’s a subset of mirror neurons whose only job is to detect other people’s smiles and laughter, prompting smiles and laughter in return. A boss who is self-controlled and humorless will rarely engage those neurons in his team members, but a boss who laughs and sets an easy-going tone puts those neurons to work, triggering spontaneous laughter and knitting his team together in the process. A bonded group is one that performs well, as our colleague Fabio Sala has shown in his research. He found that top-performing leaders elicited laughter from their subordinates three times as often, on average, as did midperforming leaders. Being in a good mood, other research finds, helps people take in information effectively and respond nimbly and creatively. In other words, laughter is serious business.

Wow … if we all took this to heart, meetings could be a heck of a lot more fun, huh?!

Beth Levine