Skip to main content

What Your Face is Saying About Your Attitude

     I once coached a front office person on the importance of customer service excellence.  She was the greeter of new and established clients when they walked through the front door.  Bottom line, she was not suited for that portion of the job.  Though she was organized, diligent, detail-oriented, and punctual, she lacked skills on the people side of her job.  She struggled with making clients feel warm and welcome in the business.  Her phone skills were also lacking because the tone of her voice, though calm, was not pleasant.  I talked to her about the simple act of smiling.  Of course it shows up on the face, but it's also heard in the voice.  With a blank look and absolutely no inflection in her voice, she said, "But I am smiling."  Insert emoji with the surprised look here.
     I thought she was joking at first, but she was serious--about smiling.  One of her greatest challenges was that of so many of us--a lack of self-awareness.  She had no idea what she looked like to other people.  She was a kind lady with a sincere desire to do her job well.  She simply had no clue about how her face reflected what people believed about her attitude. 
     Whether an accurate assessment of our intentions and the great person we believe we are, what we present to the people who encounter us starts with what they see.  Keeping in mind that until you open your mouth to correct any misperceptions, every one of us is judged immediately upon meeting someone.  Your body language, your facial expressions--they both give an impression of who you are in that moment.  That might not be who you are at all, but depending on what was happening in your life at the time, you'll be judged on how you present yourself.  That's why the old saying "first impressions are lasting impressions" is both important and true.  People will generally remember how they met you, especially if it was a great experience or an awful one.
     You would think putting on a welcoming expression would be an easy thing for most people.  Some seem to wear a perpetual smile on their faces giving a sense that they are always content.  But those who struggle in this area (mostly pessimists) will usually doubt a person's sincerity and judge them as phony.  They don't believe people are that happy all the time.  Getting stoic, serious, bland people to put on this important "attitude accessory" is difficult.  It seems disingenuous.  They don't smile just to be kind.  There has to be a reason.

     But remember this:  Smiling isn't always for you.  It's better used when given to someone else.  Helping people not to judge you unfairly because you have a dead or sour look is only half the reason.  Giving pleasant "face" is like giving a compliment to someone.  It makes them feel good.  In customer service, this is essential.  And not just smiling, but any other look of being approachable, helpful, interested, thoughtful, concerned, and engaged.  Our face and body language speak volumes.  What is yours saying?
     DO THIS:  Would love to see your best face.  Upload a selfie or photo of you on the Sharper Development Solutions Facebook page at in the comments section of this post.  Go ahead...give us good face. 

Popular posts from this blog

He Said, She Said

It seems like everywhere we turn today in the news, there are accusations being made between men and women.  Those accusations are of a serious nature and are costing people on both sides in life-altering ways.  Sexual misconduct and abuse, physical abuse, and gender bias are among the many claims being made mostly by women against men.  These men are usually in positions of power.  Therefore, they are in a prime position to commit the crimes and bad behavior they are accused of without a lot of resistance initially from their victims.
     But something has happened lately.  What was once too shameful to speak about out loud is now front and center for all the world to see.  What was perpetrated behind closed doors has now been shoved out in the open by a chorus of voices saying it happened to #MeToo.  One of the difficult angles in these revelations is how the rest of us receives these stories.  Many people without hesitation take sides with the women who are accusing the men.…

Taming the Tongue

I was studying the Bible today because part of my life is spent as a Bible student and Sunday School teacher.  I enjoy reading it because of the many life lessons it holds.  Today's scripture has everything to do with communications.  And since this is a communications blog, I will refer to the verses I read in it just like I would in any book where I find something worth repeating.  In the book of James, chapter three, James is talking about talking--specifically cursing, lying, gossiping, boasting, and a bunch of other things we say that we shouldn't.  These behaviors are born out of one small part of our bodies that we all lose control of along with our brains at varying points in our lives.  But when we lose control, we amass large amounts of grief for ourselves and others.

     Beginning at verse three, he describes this failure of ours.  "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. …