You’ve heard “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” A smile is worth a lot of words, too. Whether we’re smiling, or not, sends a
message. It’s a simple lesson I learned from a very wise man in my workplace.
I’m not a natural smiler. Apparently I have a serious look when I’m thinking about something. I didn’t realize it until I was on my way to
get coffee at the office early one morning. I was walking down the hall, thinking about whatever, ramping up for the
day. I was stopped by Dave, a colleague. Dave was a very gentle man, skilled at his profession and kind. Dave was not in a
leadership position, but he led with his attitude.
Dave admonished me, “Susan, smile!” I looked at him perplexed. “What do you mean? I am smiling.” “No, you’re not. Everyone is
watching you. If you start the day without a smile on your face, the entire department thinks something is wrong. It makes them nervous.
When you smile, it puts them at ease.”
There were a couple of lessons here.
As a leader, people watch your every move, listen to your every word and watch every facial expression. Especially during
turbulent times, they are watching for signs of what is going on, including the signs on your face.
Actions as simple as a smile make an impact. The first thing people see is our face. Whether we’re smiling or not sets the tone for
everything that comes after.
Are you smiling?