A few months back I had a 1:1 with a senior colleague. It was morning time. I was somewhat worried about the number of things I have to do that day. As the meeting started, I straight away jumped into my discussion points. After that, my colleague asked me why I looked stressed. I told him about many things off the top of my mind. He smiled a little and said, “you should smile more often”. I was a bit surprised with the suggestion but then he went on and shared with me a few personal examples of how a smile can be really helpful in many situations.
A few days later, I decided to try it. I wrote the mantra on a sticky note and fixed it on the wall. Since then I tried smiling more often during day to day conversations. It turned out that it’s a really good life hack.
Here is why I recommend others to try it out -
1. Build an environment of positivity
Our day to day work stress starts impacting our body language. But as you may know, a great deal of information about us is shared via body language. Without even realising, people around you are picking cues from your manners, appearance, movements and facial expressions and start mimicking this. But by consciously introducing smiles in your day to day behaviour, your body can start radiating this positivity. To you and those around you, the environment starts feeling lighter. It is much easier to get stuff done in such an environment.
2. Build trust
Having a straight face all the time is going to make you look somewhat unfriendly. But when you see someone with a relaxed demeanour and genuine smile frequently, you are more likely to think that this person is trustworthy. This trust unlocks many opportunities. People will find it easy to open up to you and share their problems. It makes it easy for you to do difficult conversations. It also reduces conflicts and encourages collaboration.
But make sure you smile genuinely. If you try this, please share your experiences.