A Laugh a Day Keeps Malpractice Away

Add a little humor to your workday.

Want to boost morale and your bottom line at the same time?

Add a little humor to your workday.

Laughter improves your mood. It sharpens your attention. And it brings some of the same physiological benefits as exercise – increased heart rate, enhanced oxygen flow, muscle movement in the face and chest – without requiring a trip to the gym.

Not to mention the fact that an occasional smile – or even better, a hearty guffaw – will make you much more popular in the office.

The law, after all, can be pretty grim. Each day you face daunting deadlines, demanding clients, and difficult colleagues. A little levity might be just what the doctor ordered.

A Laugh a Day Keeps Malpractice Away

Speaking of which: have you heard this one from the medical profession?

Doctor: I have some good news and bad news. The good news is you’ve got 24 hours to live.

Patient: That’s good news? What’s the bad news?

Doctor: I’ve been trying to call you since yesterday.

That’s one where doctors are on the receiving end, not lawyers. And though you might find the joke corny, it illustrates a serious point about the importance of communication – especially when the message is urgent. Bad news doesn’t age well. It only gets worse over time.

For lawyers, that means returning phone calls, keeping clients informed about their case, and delivering important news promptly.

Think about it: all this risk management advice from one little joke.

A Laugh a Day Keeps Malpractice Away

A happy office is a productive office. And happy employees are more invested in their work, which means fewer mistakes and greater profits.

But before you start posting jokes on the break-room whiteboard or hosting Friday improv shows, a few words of caution. Obviously, the law is no joking matter – and the office is not a comedy stage – especially to clients. Professionalism must always come first.

And the workplace has to be a safe space for everyone. Humor that is offensive, demeaning, cutting, crude or political has no place in the law office.

That said, you don’t need to become a stand-up comic. Just bring a happy heart and positive attitude to your work. Look for opportunities to lower the stress volume. Lighten up.

We’re going to be doing just that on this blog, by sending you occasional posts from the Lighter Side of the Law.

Oh, and here’s an extra bonus: laughter helps you lose weight. Ten to fifteen minutes of laughter burns 50 calories – and though that means it would take 12 hours of constant, concentrated laughter to lose about one pound, so what? You’ve got to start somewhere.

Which reminds me, what do you get when you cross a lawyer with the Godfather? An offer you can’t understand.

For more tips on communicating with clients and keeping them happy, visit our Pro Practice Resource Center.

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