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Using Humour as a Leadership Tool: The Secret to Happier, More Engaged Employees

Humour in the workplace, particularly in the context of management and leadership, is the subject of much research all over the world. It has been shown to be a powerful tool that organizations can harness to create healthy, people-centred environments that attract talent and reduce turnover.

In addition to improving interpersonal relationships and communication in the workplace, humour increases positivity, engagement, satisfaction, openness, creativity, team cohesion and resilience. Not only that but it decreases absenteeism, fosters a sense of belonging and helps ease the return to the office.

In this course, you will learn about your personal approach to humour and how to employ it strategically to build authentic relationships and enhance collaboration, productivity and well-being within your team and your organization.


In partnership with École nationale de l’humour:

École nationale de l'humour

“Laugh together to live well together.”

Louise Richer

“Where there is no humour, there is no humanity.”

Eugène Ionesco


$2 195 + taxes


Two days - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Networking cocktail on the last day, in the evening.

Course given in French

On-site, Downtown
Hélène-Desmarais Building

March 15, 22, 2024

To be kept informed of upcoming dates, please send your details to

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  • Identify your and your organization’s attitudes to humour in the workplace: openness versus resistance.
  • Define and frame the main functions of humour in a professional context.
  • Explore humour-related strategies for the workplace.
  • Discover and boost your potential for humour, both as a sender and a receiver.
  • Use humour as a managerial tool.
  • Learn and experiment while having fun.

Is this for you?

  • Professionals
  • Managers
  • Leaders

Special features

  • This unique course is taught jointly by experts in management and humour from HEC Montréal and the École nationale de l’humour (ÉNH).
  • Participants will acquire skills that will enable them to use humour to manage their teams and their own work more effectively.


Louise Richer
Louise Richer
EMBA, McGill-HEC Montréal
Founder and Executive Director, École nationale de l’humour (ÉNH)

Benoit Pelletier
Benoit Pelletier

Comedy writer, screenwriter, organizational and corporate trainer, teacher in screenwriting, ENH
François Rioux
François Rioux
EMBA, graduate from the ÉNH
Investor and Lecturer, HEC Montréal

What do we mean by “humour in the workplace”?

  • Approach to humour: Attitudes and objections
  • Main functions and appropriate contexts
  • Pros and cons
  • Humour as an enabler of social cohesion

All about humour

  • Roles: Senders and receivers = laughing together
  • Four styles of humour and their effect
  • Using humour responsibly: Intention, perception, acceptability and impact
  • Identifying your style of humour

Strategies for using humour in the workplace

  • Exploring strategies
  • Team cohesion: Encouraging self-referential humour
  • Personalizing written and oral communication (storytelling)

Implementing humour in the workplace and opportunities

  • Using humour in the recruitment process to build trust and encourage openness
  • Role-playing exercises based on real-life situations
  • Reinforcing affiliative humour to promote self-regulation
  • Discussing learned material and sharing thoughts on implementation
  • Active participation
  • Presentation of theoretical framework
  • Modules involving sharing, introspection, questioning and observation
  • Role-playing exercises to empower participants to use humour strategically in the workplace

Participants in all of our seminars will receive a certificate of completion from Executive Education HEC Montréal.

For more information about this program

 Make an appointment with:

Émilie Mazet

Émilie Mazet
Program Manager

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 By Phone

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