Opinion

My secret work weapon: Seeing the funny side of life

Nicola Green, director of comms and reputation at O2, on how retaining your sense of humour can help relieve stress.

"Don’t expect me to crack. Unless it’s to crack a smile"
"Don’t expect me to crack. Unless it’s to crack a smile"
I have friends and colleagues who can make me dissolve into uncontrollable laughter, so I’m careful not to read their texts in an important meeting

"I don’t consider myself a comedian – telling jokes has never been my thing – but I am known to deliver a pretty frank one-liner. As a result, I have a reputation for having a wicked side, but it’s all natural and harmless.

My days are busy, intense, varied and predictably unpredictable. Fresh challenges land on my desk with regularity. It’s not an inevitability of the job; it is the job. I’ve learned that the least painful way to operate is to tackle everything with spirit. I am able to laugh in the face of a to-do list that is too lengthy to read, let alone complete.

I laugh a lot. I laugh at stuff I find funny and stuff I find infuriating. It’s a good stress-reliever and can diffuse tensions. I gravitate toward people who find the world amusing – I have friends and colleagues who can make me dissolve into uncontrollable laughter, so I’m careful not to read their texts in an important meeting.

The role of a comms director comes with big responsibility, and I take pride in that. But, as the industry saying goes: it’s PR, not ER. I never take myself too seriously or overinflate the work I do. If anything, I am self-deprecating. So throw anything at me, pile on the pressure, ask for the unachievable – but don’t expect me to crack. Unless it’s to crack a smile, of course."

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