Smiling: The Easiest Tool Leaders Can Use to Boost
I realize some cultures consider smiling a sign of weakness. In the utmost respect, I’m focusing on the western cultures when reflecting on the impact a smile has. As leaders, every move we make is noticed. We are being modeled. How we ‘show up’ matters more than most people could ever imagine.
It’s amazing to consider how we are perceived by others when we’re focused or our mind is on a really important board meeting. What’s going on in the inside is written all over our face. On the flip side, we all know how contagious smiling is. So it’s a really easy way to spark some positive vibes in the workplace.
You know the adage, ‘fake it until you make it’? It’s true. As a matter of fact, I advocate for this (in some situations). Smiling is one of them. Why? Well because when we force ourselves to smile, it tricks our mind into thinking we want to be happy. It doesn’t realize the muscles in our face have positioned themselves for a smile in a genuine way or not. So then neurotransmitters in our brain are ready for bear: they release those endorphins and guess what? When those endorphins are released, we relax a bit and we become happier.
Cortisol is barred. Those are those chemicals our bodies release when we’re stressed.
When we flash a fake smile at someone, they tend to reciprocate. When they smile, it’s human nature to offer one back. That’s when the magic happens. The likelihood of a natural smile emerging is pretty strong.
Plus, there are some major benefits. We can connect the dots and send this right to our revenues, when you think about it. A really easy test to conduct is calculating the amount a waiter gets at the end of his shift: smiling more often versus not. Hands down. That’s an easy one 😉
So, the figures cumulate.
As this becomes a habit, our brain is taking notes. The pattern that is created actually starts to rewire our brain. Those positive patterns negate the negative ones.
Studies show that when we smile, we are perceived as being more considerate and ultimately, more likeable. We appear more approachable and trustworthy. When we are viewed this way, it’s kind of nice. In turn, that makes us happier, too. It’s like a cyclical situation.
*Boost your productivity
PS an added benefit is smiling makes us more attractive