Mike Bonem writes: When you hear “IQ,” you know what it refers to. And you’re probably familiar with EQ, which stands for emotional quotient or emotional intelligence. But what about LQ? It’s short for “laughter quotient.” It’s actually something that I made up, but I think it’s vitally important for you and your staff.
I recently led a retreat for a group of ministry leaders. All came into the retreat feeling tired and stressed. One evening, we intentionally avoided any kind of formal learning agenda and instead played a couple of different games. We laughed and laughed, and that’s when it hit me. Most leadership teams have low LQ’s. They don’t laugh together often enough.
Think about the staff that you lead or that you’re part of. When was the last time that you laughed together? I’m not asking when everyone chuckled at a joke in a staff meeting. I’m asking about the last time that the staff had so much fun together that they forgot the ministry burden that they were carrying. A time when the interaction was so rich and entertaining that everyone forgot about rank in the organization.
Some of you are very good and intentional about creating these moments. You can honestly say that your staff has a high LQ. Others can’t remember when you last enjoyed one of these moments. Some of you may even wonder if it’s necessary. Trust me – it is. There’s great truth in the old expression that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Dull doesn’t just mean boring. It also means that a person has lost their edge and that the twinkle has left their eyes. You’re leading in an environment that depends on passionate, motivated people. When they lose that twinkle, it doesn’t just impact the individual staff member. It spills over to their peers, to the volunteers that work with them, and to the people that they serve.
When was the last time you had an LQ moment with your staff?
Have you ever?
Do you need to try to regain and increase your own LQ?
My experience is that if you can’t laugh with your staff… something has gone terribly wrong somewhere.