Hello SOTGC community,
Seeing as how it’s Monday, I’ll keep this short and sweet. The gist of this post is that the most important accessory you can wear to work every day…is the smile on your face. No matter what is going on, how much drama is around you, what kind of catastrophes you have to fix, keeping a calm front and a smile on your face is what will give you the confidence to handle them successfully. And if you’re leading a team it will help keep their minds on the task at hand while instilling in them the confidence that you will all get through it OK.
I learned this lesson when I was working on Catalina Island as a server during my summers in college. My parent’s were out visiting and were dining in the restaurant on a really hectic night. A couple of people had called in sick and we were slammed. At one point while I was racing around a hand reached out and grabbed my arm. My Dad pulled me to his table and despite the glare I gave him he said (in a very calm voice): “Honey, you look stressed. I know you’re busy and it’s normal to be moving quickly…but the guests in this restaurant don’t need to know JUST how stressed you are. So put a smile on your face.” At the time, his suggestion annoyed me, but now I see that it’s one of the best pieces of advice you can give someone just starting in the work place.
In any high stress and demanding career you are going to find days when you are so far into the weeds that it’s all you can do not to lock your office door, curl up in the fetal position under your desk, and rock back and forth. But realistically, you don’t have the ability to even falter for a moment or deals could be lost, clients could leave, or your team could be late on a deadline and the entire company could suffer. During these times, a calm smile on your face, while your brain races through millions of solutions, is tantamount to restoring some semblance of control over such a haywire situation. Remember, both panic as well as tranquility are contagious emotions. The last thing your clients, co-workers, and bosses need to feel emanating from you during a tense situation is anxiety….so the simple act of smiling can help restore the confidence to everyone (including yourself) that a solution will be created and enacted, and things will move forward smoothly and successfully from that point.
A good analogy I was once given was: Think of a duck in a pond. Above water all you see is how smoothly it glides over the surface. Below water, the duck is paddling frantically to continue moving forward.
So be a duck, smooth and graceful above surface, and constantly moving underwater to keep momentum going.
Photo credit: www.businessinfocus.co.uk