Interacting with others is not always the easiest thing in the world. The truth is, many of us spend most of our waking hours working, hopefully productively, rubbing shoulders with others—those we like and those we don’t.
When we’re deep in thought or conversation, it’s easy to forget about our body language and the positive influence that a simple smile can have on those around us, or those who are listening.
The impact of a smile on someone’s day is absolutely incredible!
Whether you’re meeting new people or working with a team you see every day, if you think not smiling is a good thing, you’re wrong. It’s rude, can easily be misunderstood, and cause professional relationship outcomes you never intended.
It doesn’t matter what your standing in the company is. When you come in contact with someone, even in passing, the right thing—the kind and professional thing—to do is to make eye contact and smile.
As I suggested to one of my coaching clients recently, you don’t have to like the person you’re smiling at. You don’t have to start a conversation. You don’t have to care about them. You don’t have to know who they are. Your smile is simply a small courtesy and will be a valuable way of connecting to others throughout your career.
Smiling is not a sign of weakness or lack of strength. It doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with everyone you smile at or hang out together after work. A smile is simply a non-verbal professional greeting, and not smiling often may be perceived as a slight by others.
If you’re in a senior position or are an executive, pay particularly close attention to your body language. The expectation of a minimal professional greeting is for everyone, not just for those in your inner circle. Showing respect, interest, and smiling applies to everyone you come in contact with.
My encouragement: Share a smile in every area of your life—personal, professional, and even during surface-level interactions with clerks and cashiers you come in contact with as you hurry through the sometimes mundane chores of every day life. Doing this helps develop the habit of making eye contact and smiling, plus it does make a big difference in someone’s day.
Try it! You’ll be amaz ed at the difference you see in yourself and in those around you.