The Power of Your Smile
I’ve been lucky enough to see probably millions of smiles in my lifetime and I can say without hesitation that every face I’ve seen smiling looks more beautiful than when it’s not smiling. It’s an instant face lift and a magical mood-enhancer. And it is often highly contagious. Our impulse when someone smiles at us is to smile right back at them.
Most human communication is non-verbal. From 70 to 90 per cent of the messages we are sending out are based on non-verbal cues like body language, gestures, eye contact and facial expressions. Other factors like clothing and even your surroundings can play important roles in communicating, too. These things say much more than the actual words we speak.
Communication is key to any relationship and your smile can be a powerful tool in your communication arsenal. Smiles, like handshakes, are important messages. We like people who have firm handshakes and we like people who smile at us. Smiles make us feel welcomed and accepted and appreciated.
Of course, different smiles can send different messages. A fake smile is as much of a turn-off as a limp handshake. A “polite” or forced smile speaks volumes about how little you really care. But, genuine, authentic smiles can help you build relationships with others.
In any customer service interaction, even those on the phone, smiling can make a big difference in the customer’s perception of the experience. Consider your experiences where a service person has not smiled at you. If it was a waiter, you probably tipped less. If at a retail store, you probably didn’t leave with warm, fuzzy feelings about shopping there.
An old business adage is that “people do business with people they know, like and trust”. Smiling helps you get there faster. When you smile, you are instantly more likeable, people think they know something about you (even if it’s just that you are friendly and welcoming—that’s a great start!) and I think authentic smiles can also help build trust.
I’ve read several stories of scientific studies on smiles over the years and in addition to helping you build relationships with others, smiling is good for you, too. You can improve your own mood and outlook simply by smiling more.
Your smile is a beautiful thing. Use the power of your smile today.
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