Posted by Todd Smith
If I were to rank all the factors that go into creating a likable personality, I would have to place a friendly smile at the top of the list. A warm, authentic smile communicates feelings that words alone can’t possibly accomplish. A great smile radiates warmth, puts people at ease and makes a good first impression.
The Impact Of Your Smile
As you meet people, you will see a wide range of smiles. These smiles will vary from the “habit smile” where they are smiling sub-consciously simply because they know they should smile to the “it’s really nice to see you smile” where their smile is communicating an authentic interest in you.
Just as the smiles of others make an impression on you, your smile or lack thereof makes an impression on them. Your smile can be one of your most powerful branding tools and it’s as easy as lifting your cheeks and showing your teeth!
If you will start smiling more, you will instantly begin to attract more people into your life. Your smile will make people feel welcome and appreciated. You will appear more confident, you will have a better attitude and your value to the market will grow. Smiling will also improve your health by reducing stress, boosting your immune system, lowering your blood pressure and making you look younger.
To make a positive impression on people you are greeting, look in their eyes and offer a warm, friendly smile as you tell them how pleased you are to meet or see them. This technique utilizes both verbal and non-verbal expression. To enhance your impression, include their name in your greeting and if appropriate offer a firm handshake.
Spending Time With People
Not only do I want to encourage you to focus on your smile when greeting people, but I also want to challenge you to focus on smiling more in all of your communications in-person or even on the phone. Yes, people can actually “hear” your smile on the phone. The more you smile when talking with people, the more people will be drawn to you and the more they will like you.
If you are in sales, remember if people like and trust you, they will be more inclined to do business with you. If you are striving to be a leader, the more people like you and trust you, the more likely they are to follow you.
An Intentional Effort is Required
For some people, smiling comes naturally. For others, they actually have to remind themselves to smile. I have to be very intentional about smiling because it doesn’t come natural to me. When speaking in front of a large group of people, I have to really focus on smiling. I have learned that the more I smile during my presentations, the more people like me. And the more they like me, the more they are open to what I have to say.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rank the impression you are making on others through your smile? Be honest!
Let me offer you a simple challenge. Over the next 24 hours, be extra intentional about smiling at everyone you see. Whether it’s the person in the car next to you at the light, your neighbor or your spouse, think about the message you are communicating through your smile. If you don’t tend to smile a lot, then this will require an extra effort on your part, but it will be well worth it.
If you will do this one simple thing, not only will you be happier, but also you will immediately notice a difference in how people respond to you. Give it a shot; it will be fun.
Your smile not only influences how people feel about you but it is also a great way to express your love, appreciation and respect to those who are important to you.
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 34 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts.
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