An Evaluation of Humour in Emergency Work

180px-Smiley.svg.png Emergency work can be distressful, but in recent years there has also been a growing number of publications which recognise the positive aspects experienced by emergency workers. This paper identifies humour as a coping strategy which contributes to emergency workers’ adjustment to difficult, arduous and exhausting situations. We argue that humour enhances communication, facilitates cognitive reframing and social support, and has possible physical benefits. The authors believe an important delineation needs to be made between a healthy use of humour and humour that is used to mask feelings in a way that will cause later distress.

Carmen Moran and Margaret Massam
School of Social Work, University of New South Wales


HUMOUR: Ask the question:
What is quite funny about this?

Humour involves the appreciation of oddness. In humour there is the willingness to enjoy seeing the OTHER SIDE of things, the willingness to see fresh points of view, to see them and appreciate them without necessarily feeling the need to adopt them as one’s own.

Humour includes flexibility in the way we can look at information, the humour of creativity, and the humour of insight. Humour means seeing things in a different way. Appreciating the value of differences.

There’s the humour of wisdom, the humour of balance and tolerance, the humour of plurality. The enjoyment of surprise, chance and variety. The good mood, the sound of laughter, good humour and good health.

Gallup: May 8 – Clinton vs Guiliani

PRINCETON, NJ — A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds Hillary Clinton solidifying her lead over Barack Obama and the rest of the field for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, while Rudy Giuliani continues to lead among Republicans. This is the first poll conducted after each party held televised debates on cable television. Aside from a slightly better showing for Clinton, preferences for both parties’ nominations have changed little from the prior poll in mid-April. Notably, Clinton’s favorable rating among all Americans is back to 50% after being below that mark since late March.

Gallup Poll reports on US Election 2008

The 2008 US presidential election will be the first election since 1928 in which neither party has an incumbent president or vice president attempting to get his party’s nomination. This suggests the potential for an election that will generate unusual interest from voters. In fact, early indications are that Americans are already paying as much attention to this election now as they typically do much later in the process.

Current political conditions in the United States favor the Democrats. The public is highly dissatisfied with the way George W. Bush is doing his job as president, in large part because of the war in Iraq. As a result, Americans rate the Democratic Party significantly more favorably than the Republican Party, and Democrats hold a large 52% to 40% lead (as of the first quarter, 2007) in the party identification or leanings of the general population.

When asked generically about the political outcome of the next election, Americans say they would rather see the Democratic Party than the Republican Party win the 2008 election if it were held today.

Visit the Gallup Poll at Princeton …

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs

Hrad to blveiee taht you cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht yor’ue rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan bairn, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, sowhs taht it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Random Thumbnail Image  Tihs is bcuseae the huamn biarn deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe ptatren. Amzanig huh? Yaeh, and you awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Hope is Not a Method

Before departing from the post ANZAC Day military theme of the past week I’ll leave you with a very useful book to read called Hope Is Not a Method by Gordon R. Sullivan (Author), Michael V. Harper (Contributor). There is also an audio business product on this doctrine for business leaders which I am planning to get. You might find it useful, too.

The ‘top-down pyramid’ model of US corporations followed the WW II command model of the US military. The US military has been re-engineered and has inverted this model and US business is soon likely to follow suit.

cover.gif  Here’s a review of the book which was first published in 1997.

A Lesson in Warfare

I recently had the opportunity to get a lesson in warfare from one of Australia’s cleverest military thinkers. Last week a friend and I met with Major General Jim Molan for a few hours in Melbourne. He had been visiting to lecture to senior Justices on Leadership. This subject is largely a novelty for judges who have little need for it in their profession. They are concerned with arguing the Law in their chambers not enforcing it on the battlefield.

General Molan advises the ADF in Canberra on advanced warfighting concepts. It is always difficult, if not impossible, for civilians to understand what their soldiers are facing in the field. As a VietVet I discussed with the general how I found it was tempting to look at the Iraq War from the strategic perspective of one’s own experience of jungle warfare in Viet Nam but I knew that view would be misguided, to say the least.

So, I asked if he could explain succinctly what was the kind of warfare the coalition were up against in Iraq. Here he gave his lesson in warfare. He said, “The enemy have 27 million targets. We have 1000 targets. That’s the problem we are working to solve”.

On reflection since Friday, I have found that to be a really useful lesson and an insight that is likely to empower my thinking on this war for quite a while. With this lesson, the physics of this war are so much clearer; and warfare is mostly physics.

Corporations and the Military and the T4T Strategy

Today was fun. I had been invited to give a lecture at the University of Melbourne entitled “Corporations and the Military: Strategy and learning, thinking and training”. This was in a course designed by Dr Jim Shields at the Education Faculty called “An Introduction to Strategic Management in HRD”.

It was supposed to be 45 mins but the class was keen and we doubled it to an hour and a half. They were on the ball so I taught them the T4T strategy (from Game Theory) which has been shown to be the best-scoring strategy in the world–time and time again. There is a certain insight that is necessary for the players to ‘get’ before they can use the strategy. I call that insight “TIT is coming” and I was pleased that the class grasped it in the time available. I’m sometimes asked to teach T4T to senior executives and they can find it counter-intuitive at first.

The TIT for TAT Strategy

I was introduced to T4T (TIT for TAT) by Richard Dawkins 30 years ago in his chapter called “Nice guys finish first” in The Selfish Gene. I’ve used it personally, ever since. I’m very happy with the results. I’ll write a piece on it soon.