RULE 12: Give a genuine smile not a lopsided grin

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Publisher of Ovation International Magazine, Chief (Dr.)  Dele Momodu 

Remember the poem?  If you can keep your head etc. – well, how do you let them know you are keeping your head?  Easy, smile.  Smile no matter what.  Smile when you greet your colleagues in the morning.  Smile when you shake hands.  Smile when it’s getting tough.  Smile when it’s hell.  Smile no matter what.

And what sort of smile?  Friendly, genuine – make sure it extends to your eyes – sincere, frank, honest, open, happy.  And the easiest way to make your smile all these things is to believe them all.  This can’t be an act or it’ll be spotted immediately.  It has to be genuine to appear genuine.  You have to feel happy.  You have to be enjoying this or your smile will look insincere and false. And if you’re not enjoying this then stop pretending with a fake smile and get hell out.
We’ll assume your smile is real and that it comes from genuine happiness and friendliness.  Now it is legit to improve on your smile, to rehearse it, to make it better.  But it has to be there in the first place.  We’ll assume it is.

Look in the mirror and smile.  Chances are it will look all wrong.  Of course it will.  You can only see yourself front on. And photos don’t work either, they’re in 2D and there is a lot missing when you look at them.  You need to see your smile from all angles, in 3D, and there is only one way to see this and that is on film – video or whatever.

“So, to improve your smile, make sure you aren’t doing a lopsided grin, that your teeth can be seen but not too much, that you look happy and honest.  Keep practicing until you get it right”.

If you feel embarrassed getting a partner or friend to video you so you can improve your smile you’ll have to set it up yourself.  Please don’t make the mistake I once made.  I was a finance manager and was asked to cover for one of our supermarket managers for an afternoon.  The store was empty and I spent a most enjoyable afternoon practicing my walk, my smile, my general appearance on the CCTV system in the store.  I would go back to the office and watch the results as I changed a slight part of whatever bit I was unhappy with.  It was great fun.  A few weeks later I was invited to watch a special show for all the staff.  Yes, I had forgotten to wipe the tape and the shop manager – bless him – had found it and had been putting on shows for all the general staff.  I was forced to sit through the whole thing while my jolly chums commented on it and pointed out where I was going wrong.  Very droll, very funny.
So, to improve your smile, make sure you aren’t doing a lopsided grin, that your teeth can be seen but not too much, that you look happy and honest.  Keep practicing until you get it right.

(Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “Don’t Limp Fish” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)

Rule-to-Work Series
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