I recently flew on a Virgin flight from Brisbane to Canberra to deliver a Science of Achieving Your Potential program and I got into thinking about authentic happiness at work. So, on my way to the airport I decided to count the amount of smiles I got between walking in the door of the terminal and arriving at the hire car at the other end.
Here’s how it went:
Check In: tick
Security scanning: tick
Drug Scanning: Tick
Check In at Virgin Lounge: Tick
Order Coffee: Tick
Wait staff cleaned my table: Tick
Boarding pass scanned: Tick
Boarded plane and given seat directions: Tick
Safety message: Tick
Asked if I’d like a drink or anything from the menu: Tick
Disembarking the plane: Tick
Walking into the terminal: Tick
Hire car pick up: Tick
Nice, I got 13 smiles in my experience with traveling on a 2 hour journey! Having worked with Virgin as a client they certainly have their smiles down pat with consistency and this is branding at its finest.
I generally say Personal Branding is a little bit like losing weight. Many clients come to me thinking Personal Branding is just one thing like an elevator pitch or a LinkedIn Profile. But like losing weight, you don’t lose 5 kilos overnight. It’s the sum of all the 500 grams here the 1 kilo there and the consistency and clean eating week in week out to get to the goal. Personal Branding is the adding up of all the little things that make you brand you.
For those who don’t know me well I spent many years in retail and as an Area Manager. My role was to look for details in everything including the smiles, displays, how the staff dressed, their manner, their alertness and how they built rapport with customers just to name a few. It seems old habits die hard as I do this now without thinking about it! Something I used to look for in those days and still do with my Shadow Coaching clients is the first 4 seconds. If you think about it this way…. you come home from work and grunt at your partner on arrival then that sets the tone for the rest of the night. But if you greet them, say ‘hi’ and give them a kiss then it’s a great start to the rest of the evening! It’s the same at work. When you arrive at a meeting are you still talking on the phone or do you take the time to stop and smile to set the tone?
My experience has been that without a smile people can think you’re stressed, don’t like them or that they’ve done something wrong.
So if I asked you “how often do you smile” what would you say? It seems like such a simple thing I know but so many brands are built on a smile. It’s how you build rapport quickly, engage, influence. For some, a smile comes naturally, for others it takes a bit of practice. I know for me, after seeing some video footage when I’m concentrating or a little nervous I don’t smile very much and I really have to work at it because people think I’m stressed, when I’m actually not!
Okay, now my challenge to you this fortnight is…. If I was doing a mystery shop on ‘Corporation You’ how many smiles would I get? Write them down if you have to. Look at your other collateral- are you smiling in your LinkedIn photo? It will help you become really conscious of your authentic connection with others and if it’s helping you achieve your goals.
Love to know your thoughts.
Jane Anderson is a Speaker and Author who works with Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Thought Leaders, Experts and CEO’s to leverage the expertise of their talent through LinkedIn.
To inquire about Jane speaking at your next event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org