A smile adds face value

432 reads

Readers of this column know that I am a big fan of Dale Carnegie, the master of making friends.  I carry a poem from one of his books with me and often share it when I am speaking to groups.  It's called "The Value of a Smile," and I hope you learn as much from it as I have.

"It costs nothing, but creates much.  It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.  It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.  None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.

"It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in a business, and is the countersign of friends.  It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and natures best antidote for trouble.

"Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anyone 'til it is given away.  And if in the hurly-burly bustle of today's business world, some of the people you meet should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?

"For nobody needs a smile so much, as those who have none left to give."

I learned years ago that one of the most powerful things you can do to have influence with others is to smile at them.  Never underestimate the value of a smile.  The person who is smart enough to keep smiling usually winds up with something good enough to smile about. 

People all over the world smile in the same language.  A smile should be standard equipment for all people, both at work and at home.  It takes only 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown - so really, you have no excuse.  Put on a happy face!

Smiling adds face value and helps you make a good impression.  We like people who smile, because they appear warm and kind.  They are more approachable.

Smiling encourages trust.  People who are constantly smiling appear to be more trustful than those who are not.

People who smile are more productive.  A 2010 study by Andrew Oswald, a professor of economics at Warwick Business School over in England, proved that employees who smile more often are significantly more productive and creative in the workplace.

Smiling enhances your disposition.  The more you smile, the happier you are.  And don't forget that the more you smile, the happier other people around you feel. 

Smiling makes you more attractive.  A smile is a very inexpensive way to improve your looks.  People are naturally attracted to people who smile.

Smiling improves health.  Studies have proven that when people smile, endorphins are released making people feel happy and less stressed.  The more you smile, the happier and more relaxed you get.  Surprisingly, this also works when faking a smile or laugh, as the brain can't differentiate between real or fake smiles.  

Endorphins also act as natural pain killers.  The added oxygen from smiling and laughing benefits your body while improving your immune system.  Smiling releases more white blood cells, which protect the body against infectious diseases.

In a 2012 study published in the journal Psychological Science, University of Kansas psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman studied 170 participants who were told to hold chopsticks in their mouths in three formations, making them smile to various degrees without realizing it, after performing a stressful task. The experiment revealed that subjects who smiled the biggest with the chopsticks experienced a substantial reduction in heart rate and quicker stress recovery compared to those whose expressions remained neutral.

Finally, smiles are contagious, just like yawns.  So smile and start an epidemic.  Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.  That's why you should not only smile from "ear to ear" but from "year to year."

Mackay's Moral:  Smiles never go up in price nor down in value.

Trending

264
misner's picture

Dude, Where are my Wheels? Why Networking Helps – Even in the “Hood”

I recently visited Los Angeles and drove through an area that I grew up around.  I was regaling my wife with a story about a job I had in a pretty tough neighborhood when I was in college.  At the end of the story she said, “you have to
298
Harvey Mackay's picture

Resourcefulness = “Of Coursefulness”

A firm needed a researcher. Applicants were a scientist, an engineer and an economist. Each was given a stone, a piece of string and a stopwatch and told to determine a certain building’s height. The scientist went to the rooftop, tied the stone to
340
johnsullivan's picture

Sourcing Is the New Recruiting

I have some excellent news for you. Sourcing is the place to be in talent acquisition today! Recruiting as it has traditionally been known is going away. Increasingly companies are adopting recruitment process automation, and that means that there
388
harvardbusinessreview's picture

How to Prepare for a Panel

Make sure to connect with the moderator beforehand.
370
johnsullivan's picture

HR Roundtable: The Value of a Multi-Generational Workforce

In the classic rock anthem My Generation by The Who, lead singer Roger Daltrey screams, “I hope I die before I get old.” He echoed a sentiment of the times, but he never knew that he was also doing what...
401
adamgrant's picture

Why Women Volunteer for Tasks That Don’t Lead to Promotions

Here’s a work scenario many of us know too well: You are in a meeting and your manager brings up a project that needs to be assigned. It’s not particularly challenging work, but it’s time-consuming, unlikely to drive revenue, and probably won’t be
383
johnsullivan's picture

How Personas Change Sourcing Outcomes

It’s really intimidating to walk into a room full of people you don’t know. We’ve all had that moment of panic, scanning the room for any semi-familiar face and praying it’ll work. Just one person. I personally hate that feeling....
503
misner's picture

Body Language When Networking

Body language can be a powerful attractant or deterrent when it comes to building relationships with others. People assess you visually within the first fewminutes of meeting you.  I’ve been asked a lot about body language by the media over the
393
adamgrant's picture

This 4-Day Work Week Experiment Went So Well, the Company is Keeping It

A first-of-its-kind four-day work week experiment in New Zealand has come to an end after two months, but the trial went so well the company actually wants to make the changes permanent.While lots of research has shown the numerous benefits a