A Joke Just Might Get You A Raise With Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas

Most of us feel like we can’t bring our sense of humor to work. We have to wear boring clothes, make totally serious presentations, and approach everything with a demeanor so dry that it makes staring at a wall seem fun. 

We think to be professional we have to be serious.

Turns out, we’re wrong. 

Robert Half International and Hodge-Cronin & Associates found 98% of surveyed executive leaders preferred employees with a sense of humor. 84% believed employees with a sense of humor do better work. There’s a positive peer-to-peer effect too — humor can make our peers more likely to attribute higher status to us and to vote us into leadership roles.

Knowing that is all well and good… but how can we bring humor into the workplace in a way that feels comfortable and natural?

Workplace humor experts Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas are here to help you invite humor to the morning meeting.

In their book, Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (And How Anyone Can Harness It. Even You.), they’ll walk you through the baby steps that can make a big difference in the way you’re perceived at work and on your own enjoyment. 

By doing the book in Pique, you’ll get to experience Humor, Seriously with hands-on activities co-created directly with Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas. You’ll get a trial run of all of the practices introduced. And, after trying them out, there will be a clearer path to keep using them going forward.

What can you expect?

Instead of just reading about the positive effects of humor in the workplace, in Pique, you’ll get to experience them. 

One way you’ll do that? Using humor to solve problems you might otherwise have been unable to solve.

Whether it’s tackling a pesky QA issue, approaching the marketing presentation from a clearer angle, or fixing the coffee machine, everyday we creatively problem-solve at work. And science shows that humor just might increase our capacity to do so.

In an experiment by Alice Isen, participants had to mount a candle to a wall… with no mount. To see how humor affects problem solving, Isen and her colleagues had half of participants watch a neutral video before taking on the challenge, while the other half watched a humorous one. More than twice as many people who watched the funny video solved the puzzle. Laughter didn’t make the second group smarter; but it did help them overcome their functional fixedness and see new connections and associations.

In Pique, you’ll try out your own version of the experiment by watching funny videos and doing a small creative problem-solving task. Then, we’ll help you reflect on how you can bring that forward and hold time for humor in your workplace problem-solving spaces.

Ready to get serious about humor with Humor, Seriously?

Bringing laughter into the workplace can be intimidating. Humor, Seriously by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas can make it far easier. It and many more great behavioral science books are available in the Pique app right now. 

Hop into Pique to get started today!

Katy Milkman Is Your Change Trainer

When it comes to changing our lives and routines, most of us are trying to chop down giant oak trees with plastic spoons. Our routines are so deeply ingrained that we need to use the right tools to make any noticeable progress. But we don’t do that. 

Instead, we try to use the same methods that have failed in the past over and over, ad nauseam. And then, when our bendy spoons inevitably give up their lop-sided fight against the sturdy oak, we get frustrated and quit. We sigh, “I guess I’ll ALWAYS be this way.”

There must be a better way to change. 

You can put down your well-worn spoon because behavioral scientist and change expert Katy Milkman has found that there is a better way to change. 

Her book, How To Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, will show you how to use the right tools to change your routines and conquer your goals. She recommends several different tools that can be mixed and matched in almost all scenarios according to your preferences.

By doing the book in Pique, you’ll break out of your routines with hands-on activities co-created directly with Katy Milkman that help you experience the concepts that she discusses. You’ll get a trial run with each of the tools introduced and see first-hand which would work best in your life. And, after trying them out, there will be a clearer path to keep using them going forward.

What can you expect?

Instead of just reading about the best way to make a change, in Pique, you’ll get to live it. 

One way you’ll do that? By making a plan to utilize fresh starts with Katy Milkman.

Most people are already familiar with one fresh start in particular — the New Year’s Resolution. But, thankfully, you don’t need to wait until you start a new calendar to enjoy the power of fresh starts. We see our lives in episodes, like our 40s or when we lived in the yellow house or the year 2021. The end of an episode naturally makes us feel more dynamic. Next time you experience a new move, birthday, or Monday, you can use the motivation that comes with a fresh start to give you a boost. 

Specifically, you can use that boost to change how you label yourself.


As Katy says in How To Change, “When we’re labeled “voters” (instead of people who vote), “carrot eaters” (instead of people who eat carrots whenever they can), and “Shakespeare readers” (instead of people who read Shakespeare a lot), it influences how we act, not just how we describe ourselves.” Fresh starts give us the power we need to shake our internal labels and push ourselves to become the people we want to be.

Ready to put down the plastic spoon and find the right change tools for you?

Change is hard work, so you need all the tools you can have at your disposal. Thankfully, How To Change by Katy Milkman is the ultimate resource. It and many more great behavioral science books are available in the Pique app right now. 

So head on over and get started!

Old copy:

What can you expect?

Temptation bundling. Fresh starts. Rubber ducks.

If you’ve ever struggled to do a “good for you” task, temptation bundling is going to be your pal. Through Pique, you’ll create a plan to bundle a dreaded but necessary task with something you love. Hate doing the dishes? Watch the Sopranos while you’re washing. Need motivation for washing the baseboards? Jam out to that new album you’ve been meaning to listen to. There’s a temptation for every bundle!

Most people are already familiar with one fresh start in particular — the New Year’s Resolution! But, thankfully, you don’t need to wait until you start a new calendar to enjoy the power of fresh starts. Next time you experience a new move, a birthday, or a Monday, you can use the motivation of a fresh start to give you a boost.

And you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, yeah… but tell me more about this rubber duck!” For more on that, you’re going to have to check out How to Change in the Pique app! Remember, when you hear the phrase “rubber duck,” think “Gotta check out How to Change in Pique!”

Illustration of Katy Milkman with blue hair
Researcher Katy Milkman

Leidy Klotz Can Fix Your Closet

When we have issues, most of us immediately think of adding things. Terrible closet layout? Add some dressers. Get some free-standing racks. Install random doodads to the door to hang things on.

Another option? Subtracting some clothes.

Turns out, subtracting is the problem-solving solution that most of us miss. And it can have huge benefits. 

But how can you stop yourself from overlooking subtraction?

Open the closet doors and get ready to make some room because subtraction expert Leidy Klotz is here to teach you all he knows.

In his book, Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less, Leidy will loop you in on all things less. He does some myth-busting on subtraction and teaches you several different ways to practice subtraction in your everyday life. 

By doing the book in Pique, you’ll get to experience the power of less with hands-on activities co-created directly with Leidy Klotz. You’ll get a trial run with each of the tools introduced and see first-hand which would work best in your life. And, after trying them out, there will be a clearer path to keep using them going forward.

What can you expect?

Instead of just reading about the importance of subtraction, in Pique, you’ll get to experience it. 

One way you’ll do that? You’ll put a magnifying glass on the invisible barriers in your environment that influence your behavior and subtract them to create change.

Though you fully intended to go home and make dinner, you continue to find yourself caving into stopping at the drive-thru on our way home from work. The motivation already exists — you don’t want to be stopping at the drive-thru — but time after time, you find yourself there. Why is that?

Kurt Lewin was a prominent psychologist with a lot of theories that intersect with the idea of subtraction. One of these is his “field theory.” Essentially, behavior is a product of people and their surroundings — or their field. 

We can change our behavior by relieving some of the tension our environments create. Lewin found that changing the invisible forces was often the best way to change our behavior. One way to do that? Subtract from them. Specifically, subtract the things in the environment that are creating tension and making it impossible to achieve your goals. Take a different route home to avoid the siren song of the drive-thru.

Ready to dive into the power of subtraction and fix your closet?

Subtraction is something that doesn’t come easily to us. Thankfully, Subtract by Leidy Klotz makes it far easier. He’ll walk you through everything you need to know and help you practice when it might be difficult to otherwise start. It and many more great behavioral science books are available in the Pique app right now. 

So hop on in and get started!

Illustration Leidy Klotz
Researcher Leidy Klotz