Coaching and training people has made me realize that our facial expressions can make a difference as we are getting a message across an audience. Never underestimate how our face can be intimidating or reassuring or how it can help people feel safe or shut them down.
Smiling can “drag people back in” especially now that all the social distancing guidelines and the smart working “new reality” are limiting and changing our interactions with others keeping us apart.
Besides, doing business meetings and training sessions does not necessarily mean that we all need to be too serious up to the point that we can become dull and bored. A good smile can make things more impactful and deliver messages more effectively without looking unprofessional.
Are these considerations the reasons why smiling can have a positive impact on the people we are training or interacting with?
When we smile people tend to lower their defenses, they feel safe as if there was no need to protect themselves from the outside world.
If people lower their defenses it means that they are likely to maximize their engagement. Smiling faces are also contagious hence we will be followed by others, regardless of the fact that, for example, we are delivering a training session in the UK or in Spain. A smile is a worldwide language capable of letting others in and connecting with people from any culture.
So, if we smile, we are saying out loud that we are happy to be with our audience sharing our knowledge with them all, and in the end, we are inevitably changing the environment and the culture of an organization.