Disaster Zone

Emergency Managers Need to Have Good 'Laughter' Communications Skills

Communicating better by listening to laughter.

by Eric Holdeman / January 22, 2019

Look at any emergency management position being advertised and there will be a phrase about having "excellent verbal and written communications skills." So communication must be an important aspect of what makes for a successful emergency manager. Generally, the verbal communications end up being centered around how well a person can speak. Are they clear and concise? Do they articulate their thoughts well?

However, the basis for good communications means that a person is first a good listener. Without listening, you do not know what to say, or how to say it. Which brings me to this Hidden Brain podcast on The Best Medicine: Decoding The Hidden Meanings Of Laughter.

The "Best Medicine" element likely comes from the Readers Digest that always had (maybe still does) a segment on "Laughter is the Best Medicine." They never really addressed the issue of laughter and medicine in the podcast.

What they did cover extensively is the different types of laughter and what they mean. I think we innately understand the "nervous laugh," but if you listen to the segment you will find you can detect laughter that happens between friends and between complete strangers. 

Since we are supposed to be these great communicators, understanding laughter should be one of the elements in our playbook of communications. I recommend the above podcast for your listening!