People Can’t See Your Heart When You’re Lost in Your Head
I can not notice people. I want to notice, but I’m easily distracted.
People can’t see your heart, when you’re lost in your head.
It doesn’t matter if you want to notice people. It only matters that you do.
Distraction blocks interaction.
I walk around distracted by a million things – what’s next, problems, opportunities, and performance, to name a few. I’m contemplating a coaching client’s concerns or the next presentation.
Remember you matter.
It’s easy to forget that people watch leaders. A frown on your face signals problems to the team. You may not mean to be a downer, but a nagging frown drags others down.
It ain’t hard, but it’s important.
People talk about simple things like smiling when they describe how leaders might improve their leadership.
You object that you’re not good at smiling. That’s so sad.
Bad is stronger than good. You need at least three smiles to overcome the negative impact of one frown. You’re in the hole baby. You better get smiling.
3 tips for frowning leaders to get their smile on.
- Tell yourself you like people. Think of something you like about the person in front of you. If you don’t like people, get out of leadership.
- Find a positive thing to believe in. What positive thing might you believe about others on the team?
- Admire a strength. When you walk up to someone, think about something you admire about them.
A smile that creates wrinkles around your eyes indicates that you notice positive things.
7 small things that make a positive difference.
- Show interest. “How are the kids?”
- Pat on the back.
- Bring coffee for the team.
- Celebrate progress and hard work.
- Sing happy birthday.
- Say thank you. (A smile and a little eye contact takes ‘thank you’ to a whole new level.)
What tips might you offer to frowners?
What small behaviors have big impact?
I remember a former manager honored each person’s work anniversary with a PowerPoint picture of things that was important in that person’s life, then had the work unit sign it. Mine showed me in a hammock reading a book, with a glass of wine, and a dog looking up. That was over 15 years ago and still I have it.
That lesson has stayed with me. I recently bought lifesavers for a group of individuals who helped me to complete a project in a short turnaround. I wrapped the message around the candy that said, “Thanks for your help. You were a lifesaver!”
Thanks Kathy. You are so right. Simple indications that someone notice stick with us.
Thanks also for the lifesaver idea!! So perfect. It’s the heart, not the expense.
I don’t regularly comment here, but I often share your posts, Dan. This is simple, yet so impactful. Smile. If I’m not positive and hopeful, why should anyone else be? I encouraged a new pastor a few weeks ago – he pronounced the benediction with great solemnity and seriousness, so I said later, remember the benediction is a blessing, a good word, smile! Thanks for the encouragement to be more positive and encouraging. As a pastor and teacher I need continual reminders.
Thanks Pete. I’m glad you stopped in today. Your sentence, “If I’m not positive and hopeful, why should anyone else be?” is magnificent. I wish I had thought of it. 🙂
Maybe you notice that young people can be a bit too serious about their performance. It becomes oppressive. They lose themselves. I like to say, keep doing your best, but lighten up a little.
One of my first important lessons as a manager – thanks for reminding me
Thanks Victoria. It’s easy to forget. 🙂
Thanks, Dan. It’s easy to forget that the world reflects back to you what you are showing them. If you are down and discouraged that gets reflected back to you and it’s a downward spiral. It takes positive action to break the cycle but it’s essential. To fellow introvert leaders I would modify ‘If you don’t like people, get out of leadership.’ to distinguish between disliking people and feeling drained. Introvert leaders need to make sure they are recharging so overwhelm isn’t perceived as negativity to the team.
Thanks Amy. Great insight re: introverts. Don’t interpret that drained feeling as not liking people. Your comment is so helpful.
Hi Dan, the quality of offering a genuine smile (not gratuitous) cannot be dismissive lightly given its important role in developing mature ‘EI’ skills (harmonized with requisite professional/industry skills). One may even go so far as to consider EI aptitude relating to cultivating wisdom…Ah! To enjoy God’s favor by avoiding being mislead by ignorance or corrupted by fear or favor!
it seems to me, we have become to hard on ourselves, forgetting the little things that make a difference. “When your smiling the whole world smiles with you”! A little lightening up goes a long way! I think I will have a “Life saver”, now! 🙂
I agree with your seven tips, but wonder how they will received 5, 10 years from now with all the twisting and turning psychobabble microaggressions that goes on today.
I am a frowner. In fact, people would often describe me to be very transparent because of my facial expressions- they can see through me. Whatever I feel it reflects on my face. Although it can be good, especially when I’m feeling happy, sometimes it causes problems as people judge me through my face.
Wow, this is so true. Sometimes I don’t even realize I have a bad expression on my face until I have a couple of people ask “what’s wrong?” It’s so important to realize that people are always watching, and moods and attitudes are infectious.
For those who label themselves as frowners perhaps a few moments looking into a mirror without posing and then imagining the happiest moment in your life and continuing to look into the mirror to see what you see and what others may see. Because our expressions often reflect our inner thoughts it may be difficult to smile all of the time but sometimes we can remind ourselves of the value for self and others to consider what we like about our lives, and then letting our faces show that. Positively, Pauline gvanpeski calls our moods and attitudes infectious and I think he’s right.