SMILING HELPS BUSINESS GROW
AS A WOMAN, HOW DOES SMILING HELP, OR HURT, YOUR BUSINESS IMAGE? | Written by Rita Dargham, DMD
According to Nat King Cole, “when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you. And when you’re laughing, the sun comes shining through”.
In our personal lives, these words are very real. In business, however, they may not apply in every sense of the word! In fact, when smiling too much, or when displaying more “feminine” characteristics in an overwhelming manner, one may actually be at a disadvantage. Research has shown that women who smile too much at work may actually be perceived as less serious and determined. This would be based on their smile alone and not in association with their actual commitment or talents. In many cases, you, as a woman, need to be serious to be taken seriously. However, you, as a woman, are programmed to smile… particularly at authority. On the other hand, if you, as a woman, want to be the “same” as a man, your feminine attributes can be misconstrued as “power hungry” or overly assertive. Moreover, you may be perceived as less genuine and not as competent, and even self-promoting. As for the man, he is just doing his job.
Smiling too much, or acting “too feminine” may prevent a woman from taking up enough space in the room. She will appear too small. If this were you, your role would appear less authoritative. Often times, a woman looks away when saying something authoritative; she may even smile too much as she is approached by someone of authority. Actually, studies at UCLA have shown that persons of higher authority are slower to smile. On the other hand, you would tend to smile quickly if someone of lesser authority smiles at you. So you see, your smile can be quite powerful if left unchecked. Learning to tame it is a necessary trait for business success.
Have you ever given thought to why or when you smile at work? Has your perception of a coworker been influenced by their smile? How do you typically respond when a person of authority smile at you? Do you smile too much at work? Who do you smile at?
Your answers to these questions may help define your role as a “business woman” within the feminine role you play in your personal life. Interesting, isn’t it?
Although your smile is one of the most powerful tools you possess, learning how and when to use it is even more important!
Afterall, your smile should be “One You’d Be Proud To Wear…ANYWHERE!”