Amsterdam, Netherlands

Humour as a Leadership Skill: How to Lead with Laughter

when 16 July 2023 - 23 July 2023
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 750

Developing humour skills (from humour appreciation to curating, producing, improvising, and knowing when to abstain from humour) is becoming a key interpersonal competence for accomplished leaders. This course aims not only to equip participants with research-based knowledge of types of humour and their different effects in leadership, but also with the ability to free their creativity and to practice with creating and using humour in leadership circumstances.

"I am just not that funny" is what many managers still say today, when asked whether they use humour at work. Only 50 years ago, managers would have similarly thrown their hands in the air and said, "I'm just not a born leader!". We know today that leadership can be developed. It is time to embrace the notion that humour can be developed too.

Participants will learn about the several types of humour and their effects on follower and organisational outcomes, about the psychological antecedents of humour, about factors that influence how humour is received by various audiences. They will practice with releasing their own creativity, deconstructing and reconstructing jokes, preparing a humour-supported business presentation, improvising with humour in direct interactions. They will learn to avoid common traps presented by humour in a work context, to master verbal and nonverbal humour and to create a "personal humour style" that fits their own personality and preferences.

Course leader

Emilia Bunea, PhD. and David Stolin, PhD.

Fee info

EUR 750: Tuition fees one-week course

VU Students/PhD candidates and employees of VU Amsterdam* or an Aurora Network Partner €500
Students at Partner Universities of VU Amsterdam €650
Students and PhD candidates at non-partner universities of VU Amsterdam €750
Professionals €950

Early Bird offer
Applications received before 15 March (14 March CET 23:59) receive €50 Early Bird discount!


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers two kinds of scholarships: the Equal Access Scholarship and the Photographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.