How to Move People with a Single Expression

I was looking at the above picture and a word came to mind immediately: Transformation.

I insist that you look at the entire photo series of people when they smile (#3 is my favorite). Go now! (And then come back!)

Have you ever listened to a dull speech? No you haven’t, because you tuned out after 20 seconds (and then posted a disparaging note on Facebook).

I was at a conference where the speaker asked us to turn to a neighbour and tell a sad story while the other person smiled. It is a very difficult exercise! The storyteller has trouble getting through without smiling themselves.

We all know that emotions are contagious, yet many of us fail to inject the excitement of what we are doing or what we believe about our destination into our everyday interactions. If body language is most of the message, a straight face sends a virtual raspberry. 

In your next meeting, ask people to tell each other about what they do and rate how excited they feel the other person is about their job. This always produces surprises. People realize they either hate their job (and perhaps should move on) or more commonly that they poorly convey what they enjoy. 

No one follows leaders that appear to be dragging an anchor. Focus on the future. What are you excited about? What might others enjoy when they get there?

Change is transforming. Start with a smile. 

Thoughtfully yours,
Jeff