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You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

March 07, 2012  |     |   0 Comment

I recently returned from a vacation in Florida with my husband where we visited my parents-in-law who reside there during the cold, Ontario winter months.  We had a lovely time together. I noticed that wherever we went – either driving through a Toll Booth, shopping, eating at a restaurant, or sight-seeing – everyone who attended to us was exceptionally pleasant. They were happy and engaging. How did I know this?  They all smiled.  Not only did they have smiles on their faces, but they had smiles in their voices.  When they said to us, “Have a good day,” they meant it. Their positive energy had an impact on us and we naturally passed it along to others we came into contact with.

A smile is contagious. If someone smiles at me, without thinking, I smile back.  I like to smile.  I wake up with a smile on my face everyday.  It just starts the day off in the right direction.  It sets the tone for the world of possibilities that await me.  I carry that attitude in both my personal life and professional life.

Statistically, people smile less at work than they do at home. This is unfortunate. In the business arena, competition is fierce. Clients are looking for that cutting-edge difference that makes you stand out from the competition. Believe it or not, a simple smile can set you apart from the pack.

A genuine and sincere smile is one of the most powerful tools to help others like you and want to spend time with you. A smile makes you appear to be more attractive, confident, approachable, engaging and professional.  It breaks down barriers and creates an opportunity for a relationship built on trust and respect to develop with another person and potential business prospect. Clients want to know that you possess the technical “know-how” to do the job, but more importantly, they want to know that they can connect with you on a deeper level and build a long-lasting relationship. It all boils down to your unspoken soft-social skills.

In “Annie” the musical, the character Annie sings, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.”  You could be the best technical lawyer, chartered accountant, health care professional, etc.; you could wear the best-made suits; you might have your handshake down-pat and know what fork and knife to use at a business dinner – but if you do not present yourself in a way that says , “I’m approachable”, or “I’m interested in you”, or “I like you”, all of that other stuff will not matter.  If a client cannot connect with you in a meaningful way, your relationship may be short-lived.

So don’t forget to smile. If it doesn’t come naturally, start practicing so that it does.  It only takes seventeen face muscles to smile and, in contrast, a whopping forty-three muscles for your mouth to go the other way.  The return on your smile investment will be invaluable!

 


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