Smile to Succeed

Commander VK Jaitly

Three MBA qualified girls were appearing for an interview. There was only one vacancy. All the three girls had almost same level of grades in their academics and from the same level of colleges. They were almost neck to neck in their interview too while demonstrating their communication skills, positive bent of mind, eagerness to learn and perform. But finally one girl got selected. What was special about her compared to the other two girls? She had a comparatively wheatish complexion but cheerful face. She had a compelling smile on her face throughout the interview process. That gave a confident look to her personality. And made others also smile while interacting with her. Smiling gave the competitive edge to this girl.

I am sure, any employer would like to have his/her team full of vibrancy, cheerfulness and bubbling to take up new challenges. Given a choice, nobody likes serious, grim looking dull people in the team even if they are doing a very serious job. A surgeon does a very serious job daily while operating his patients but the seriousness on his/her face is scaring for the patient. While a jovial, smiling face of the surgeon gives additional confidence to the patient to be operated upon and to his relatives also.

Smile is an asset that God has given us in abundance. It costs nothing but does wonders when you spread it around. Just remember your days at school or college. I am sure you felt much more comfortable in the class of a teacher who was cheerful and jovial with the students while teaching. And in all likelihood, you could ask any question to him/her to clear your doubts compared to a teacher who carried the image of a terror and never smiled in the class.

This reminds me of my days in the Navy during our under trainee period. We had a senior officer who was always nagging us and kept on awarding punishments on the slightest pretext. Nobody ever saw him in a relaxed mood, smiling or talking in a jovial tone. One day, a classmate of ours entered the class and announced: ‘Hey guys, Ravan was laughing today.’ And the whole class went into a riot of laughter. That day, during the lunch time also in the dining hall, this was the talk of the town: ‘Ravan laughed today.’ ‘When?’ ‘Where?’ ‘What for?’ were the whispering going on with chuckling faces of all of us.

In fact, some people have a wrong notion that by having a serious look on their face, the 8:20 look, they are trying to demonstrate the traits of ‘Task Oriented Leadership’. According to me it is just a myth. How can you be ‘Task Oriented’ without being ‘People Oriented’? If you love to accomplish your task, if you love your organization to go to great heights, you got to love your people. You got to be ‘People Oriented’ and that you can do only with a smiling face, a 10:10 face.

The moment you enter your office, start spreading smiles from the main gate onwards and give a smile to everyone you come across. This smile from the leader early in the morning is a great energy booster for the employees to give their best. They will also try to be in a cheerful mood while interacting among themselves or while interacting with the customers. Remember, smile is contagious and spreads in all directions. It removes the stress that does crop up at times. It re-enforces your self-confidence and also helps in building confidence in your teams.

I know of one grocery store at Noida who used to do more business than the other three grocery stores put together. It was just because of his polite, highly respectful tone with a smiling face. Even when he was taking orders on telephone, you could see him having a smile on his face. You guessed it right, smile does travel on phone lines too. The person on the other side can make out about your mood based on the tone in which you speak. So you do succeed in your business too when you smile whole heartedly. Let us not be miser when we give smiles to others. It is free. No costs. But bountiful of benefits.

Remember that service with a smile is always important irrespective of the business you are in. To every customer you greet, your sincere facial expression should say, “I’m so glad to see you!” A gracious smiling welcome by you will reduce the customer’s fear of the unknown. It will build trust and make your customer feel good about doing business with you. A warm and sincere smile to the customer tells him/her that we are here to serve you, support you, help you and meet your requirements in the best possible manner. In fact, a smile can be the most significant part of a business transaction, be it B2C or B2B transaction. In retail business, it can even influence people’s perception about a brand and the customer’s satisfaction levels.

Many times, during our business/social dealings we come across some people with a lot of mischievous designs and they pounce upon you with full force with all the ammunition full of venom and hatred. Here too your matured smile with silence on your face can be a sure shot armour to protect yourself against such expected or unexpected attacks.

Smile works wonders in many more places than the best of logics and arguments that your mind can produce. It is said that it takes 72 muscles to frown while a smile requires only 14 muscles. So smiling is much easier provided these 14 muscles are put to use as frequently as possible. Those people who are not used to smiling can experience a lot of difficulty in smiling initially because of the rigidity of these 14 muscles. They have to make additional efforts to loosen these muscles and then give a charming smile to an audience.

A smile is a universally understood gesture that knows no limitations, It is understood in all languages and cultures. 

Let smiling become a part of your personality. It should just ooze out naturally. And your success rate at home, in business, at office or even in social circles will improve.

Keep Smiling; Keep Succeeding