5 Ways to Teach Your Face to Express Your Heart
Children show their feelings. Leaders learn to do the ‘right’ thing instead of the real thing.
When you hide your heart, you hide yourself.
Dare to be authentic. Express your heart on your face.
You can’t completely hide your heart.
4 reasons you don’t express your heart (Some legitimate):
- Trust. Perhaps they’ll use your feelings against you.
- Protection. You don’t want to burden people with your struggles.
- Focus. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you feel. A job must get done.
- Social limitations. It’s not acceptable to share emotions in certain situations.
When you’re hard to read, people assume the worst. They wonder if you care. Years ago, my daughter said, “I think you like to intimidate people.”
Your think face is your stink face.
3 reasons to express your heart:
#1. Create and strengthen connection.
Connection is the foundation of influence. Deep connection requires heart.
When you hide your heart, connection is a fraud.
#2. Enhance the power of listening.
A flat face intimidates people. Empathy invites people to open their heart to you.
When you’re hard to read, people aren’t sure if they can trust you.
#3. Express who you really are.
The things in your heart reflect who you are.
When you hide yourself:
- You lose yourself.
- People pleasing controls you.
- Perspective is twisted.
- Health is damaged.
5 ways to teach your face to express your heart:
- Reject the notion that being hard to read is a virtue. It makes people uneasy around you.
- Focus on the good in your heart. Show concern for people, zeal for performance, interest in development, on your face.
- Practice in the mirror. You’d be surprised how sad and serious you usually look.
- Overcome feeling like a fake. If you are a flat face, you will feel like a fake when you show your heart.
- Never fake what’s in your heart. Be genuine.
How might leaders teach their face to express their heart?
What concerns you about teaching your face to express your heart?
Still curious? Leading From the Heart
Oh my goodness, this post so resonates with me! I spent years hiding how I felt, even when I was happy – I am positive I was as flat as flat can be! I didn’t want to appear over excited or too angry. You are right, it is definitely a trust issue. I had a very intimidating RBF! When my 20 year old was 2, I was cleaning and they asked me why I was mad. At work, I was concentrating at my computer and someone walked by and said I looked ticked off but I was just deep in thought.
I am still actively working on this; striving to be authentic and genuine – not stoic and intimidating. Being mindful of it definitely helps! Thank you for the reminder!
I like #3–Practice in the mirror.
This kind of flies in the face of what I have always been told, but I get your point. A mentor of mine once quoted Lou Holtz after he told me I was too open with people
“Don’t tell your problems to people: 80% don’t care and the other 20% are glad you have them”
He told me that this feeds the rumor mill.
I think there is a difference between over sharing and having an open heart. I think you can have an open heart and attitude without having to share deep feelings.
Sometimes, there’s a good reason why people hide their hearts: you go from “I think you like to intimidate people”, to “You actually LIKE to intimidate people, don’t you?”
There are always exceptions, like everything else in life. The anxiety and panic are coming from exceptional situations. Sometimes we need to put on the brave face when the situation is appropriate.
What if what you’re really feeling is anxiety and panic? The leader’s mood sets the tone of the team — I don’t want my own challenges to set the team into a downward spiral.
Loved this article about sharing our feelings. I do believe based on personal experience as a teacher and a memorable conversation way back in the 60’s!!! with a tough young grade eight student who marched up to me , a brand new teacher of grade two, and asked “Why do you smile when you’re getting mad at a kid on the playground?” that smiling inappropriately can be incredibly confusing and misleading. I know that you are saying be genuine and I appreciate always your balanced viewpoint. Positively and grateful for your thought provoking and inspiring articles. Pauline Duncan-Thrasher
“When you speak of heaven, let your face light up; let it be irradiated by a heavenly gleam; let your eyes shine with reflected glory. But when you speak of hell, your ordinary expression will do.” – Charles Spurgeon
Which is all you need to know about the face you present to the world.
This is also cultural. A smile is not the same in all languages nor in all countries. I agree with all of the points here, and add that anyone who has worked in another country might recognize that what you do with your face may not translate as expected. So know the room and know the culture, while also being authentic. I appreciate Dan’s posts.
When you force your entire force to get a shot or else be terminated it ruins any trust that may have existed, even for those who got the shot. And that trust is lost for a very long time.
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