Leaders Smile

There are scientists and psychologists who report that the most powerful expression in the human repertoire is the smile.

When there is work to be done, and we’re “all business,” we might forget the power of the smile.  Not just to transmit our happiness, but to disarm tension and settle nerves at tough times.

We’ve all known leaders who avoid positive expressions to let people know they “mean business” and that it’s time to “get to work.” Those leaders reserve their smiles for happy times, break times, or fun times. That’s okay, but is that really when we need them?

What if managers smiled while providing feedback, either positive or negative?  Not in a weird, fake, or overdone way, but in a kind way in order to send the message of “we’re all in this together, and things are mostly okay.”

And what if the smile were the default expression?  Not in a creepy, maniacal way, but in a pleasant way.

Notice the people in your life who smile more.  Contrast the impression they make with those who smile less.  Over time, you will notice this:

People listen more to smilers, they’re more loyal to smilers, and they’re more open to critical feedback from smilers.

Try this, and try smiling more.  (but not in a creepy way) See what happens!

2 Responses

  1. Sally Wilke
    | Reply

    “but not in a creepy way” – great disclaimer! One of the best parts of my visit to Hawaii was the consistent smiles on people’s faces. I think smiling is their default expression and I practice at least an hour a day.

  2. Alan Feirer
    | Reply

    A needed disclaimer – it’s why I fail to smile as much as I should — I feel like my smile is… a bit much sometimes!

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