June 12, 2017
Want to Inspire Others as a Leader? Just Smile!
If you're stuck in the Monday doldrums, try watching popular TED talker Ron Gutman's presentation on smiling.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9cGdRNMdQQ
 
As a Stanford researcher, he has also published a book on the subject:  "Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act."

In one of his studies, researchers analyzed the smiles in high school yearbooks and then looked at the subjects' success and health levels thirty years later. They found that students with the biggest smiles had happier marriages, better overall well being and were more inspiring to others.
 
"Most importantly for leaders, smilers were found to appear to their staff 
to be more competent, as well as more inspiring."

Darwin theorized -- and his findings have now been confirmed by other researchers -- that smiling appears to be evolutionary, representing our need to make sure that we had the protection of our tribe in order to survive. It's hard not to smile back when you're faced with cohorts who are smiling.
 
In another British study, one smile was found to stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain more effectively than 2,000 bars of chocolate or 16,000 pounds of sterling!
 
Most importantly for leaders, smilers were found to appear to their staff to be more competent, as well as more inspiring.

 
What Should You Do?  
 
It's easy to become discouraged when trying to inspire, motivate and engage your team. Many leaders I coach become bogged down in complex solutions. If a simple thing like a smile works, why not try the following:
  • Practice smiling on your own.  Smile at the computer, the barista who makes your coffee, or your dog. That way when you smile at your team, you're likely to be happier and appear more genuine.
  • Don't smile if you're giving someone negative feedback.  Emotional Intelligence studies have found that those smiles can make you appear condescending or sarcastic. 
  • Watch old comedy videos or your favorite cats on YouTube if you need a lift before you meet your team. For a real lift, I highly recommend the new HBO documentary hosted by Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks: "If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr85aIIrDHU
 
Nothing like watching oldsters who are 90+ and still working, telling jokes, dancing and running marathons to inspire you on your own life journey.


Did You Know

All of our management and leadership classes talking about how to motivate and inspire your team. For more information, call or write us at: 303-216-1020 or [email protected]

Read Lynne's book "The Power of a Good Fight - Embracing Conflict to Drive Productivity, 
Creativity, and Innovation. 

     

Workplaces That Work | (303) 216-1020 | [email protected]work.com 
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