A leader’s greatest asset isn’t their mind or techniques. It’s the opening of flesh just below the nose: your smile.
Here’s why: a smile is your very first and very best point of connection with another human being. Lists and ideas are good, but what people need most is a smile. A smile represents that you care, that you’re human too, and that we’re all in this together.
You can come into any situation fluent in leadership, and armed with the world’s greatest ideas. Those ideas are lost unless they are delivered with a smile.
The problem is that the number of smiles we offer are inversely related to the amount of pressure we feel in a given moment. In other words, more pressure means less smile. And in a non-stop world where each moment of the day likes to deliver more stress, smiles tend to decrease over time.
To counter this we, unconsciously, give fake smiles. We use only our mouth, but neglect to grin with our eyes. People are too smart for that. They recognize the impostor and brush off whatever thing of value we wish to bring.
I’m working harder to make my smiles authentic and often. If you run into me and sense I’ve just given you an artificial smile, you have my permission to call me on it. Help me be a better leader; help me be a better person. You deserve a genuine smile:)
What tips do you have to help people make a good smile?