Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, learned an important skill when dealing with other people: try to make them laugh, even if you’re bad at it, because it distracts everyone from the negative aspects of your personality.
Craig Newmark said:
I’m a nerd, seriously hard-core, and sometimes that translates into being a know-it-all. People got tired of that while I worked at an IBM branch office in Detroit in the eighties. My boss told that that it had become a real problem with about half my co-workers. However, he said that my saving grace was my sense of humor. When trying to be funny, well, didn’t matter if I was funny of not, at least I wasn’t being an asshole. The advice was to focus on my sense of humor and worry less about being exactly right. For sure, don’t correct people when it matters little.
The good news is that in Craig’s experience, you don’t actually have to be funny because it’s the attempt that matters. As with many things, trying is often more important than success. For more about Craig’s experiences, check out the full post over on LinkedIn.