I used to address the issue of smiling in my talks.
Then I realized how overdone the subject was.
So I took it out.
Not that smiling wasn’t important. After all, it’s the #1 symbol of approachability in the world!
But I just figured that most people were tired of hearing another author, speaker or manager talk about ‘the value of a smile.’
Smile, you’re on stage!
Smile when you answer the phone!
Smile for three seconds when you enter a room!
OK. We get it! Smiling is important. Thanks.
But the other day I had a thought.
After my speech, I was bumming around New Haven, waiting for my cab to pick me up. To kill time I walked into this cool looking coffee shop on Orange Avenue. Electronic Indian music blasted from the speakers. A few customers milled about. But for the most part the place was empty.
I approached the counter. Saw the barista across the room, working on his laptop.
He didn’t see me.
So, I thought for a second, ‘What would most customers say in this situation?’
‘Um, excuse me…could I get some service?’
‘Doesn’t anybody work here?’
Of course, I didn’t say any such thing. That’s not how I roll. I like to think I have a little more patience than that!
So, I just smiled.
No words. No flailing arms. Just a big fat, friendly grin. Directed right at the Barista.
Sure enough, he looked up from his laptop.
Sure enough, he offered a friendly smile right back at me.
And sure enough, he walked over to my side of the counter and took my order.
Because if you smile, they will see you.
It’s just that easy.
I’ve been practicing this technique (gosh, do I even have to call it a technique?) for a long time.
Anyway, it’s called the Patient Smile. Here’s how it works:
1. You smile and patiently wait.
2. Positive energy is sent to the other person.
3. They ‘sense’ that a customer is beckoning their attention. (People can just TELL when you’re smiling at them. It’s weird, but it works.)
4. They look up to meet your gaze.
5. They smile back.
6. They approach you.
7. You get (or give) better, more approachable service.
Smile and they will see you.
Give it a shot.
I triple dog dare you.