1. Hader, Richard RN, CNA, CHE, CPHQ, PhD, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief

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One of the great pleasures we've all experienced is a smile-the universal sign of happiness. And one of the many benefits of a smile is it's incredibly difficult to be unhappy when you have a big grin on your face.

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As managers, we can use smiling as an effective strategy to lead others to achievement. Doing so sends an influential message of approval, support, encouragement, and acceptance. Best of all, using a smile as a leadership technique can be lots of fun!!


Are you leading with enough expression? Are you sure you're sending the right message to your staff? Your nonverbal communication is an extremely important tool that carries messages within seconds of its delivery. Don't keep people guessing. If you're pleased about what's happening, make sure you let people know by smiling.


Smiling is infectious. When introduced into a group's culture, a smile can improve the dynamics. Smiling endorses a feeling of acceptance and belonging that enhances active engagement and facilitates a positive exchange of information.


Being the recipient of a smile is a great reward. When your work is received with a smile, it gives you a heightened sense of accomplishment. Its impact can last a long time, boosting your confidence and triggering a profound, positive influence on your future performance.


Smiles help provide a sense of security and safety. A leader's smile can promote trust, allowing for employees' free expression of thought, which encourages creativity and the opportunity to take risks. By using a smile appropriately, you'll build better relationships based on support and encouragement.


Feeling stressed? Smiling is a great tension breaker. It launches a nonverbal message that you're engaged in the discussion and you're willing to hear more dialogue, which allows people to continue the discussion without fear of reprisal. Smiles decrease anxiety by promoting honest communication, the foundation we need to tackle challenges.


By accepting what others say, we can analyze situations more thoroughly, creating a plan devised by those closest to the issue. This step yields better results since participants are invested in the process.


Augment encouraging words with a smile. Spoken sentiments without a gesture don't carry the same meaning and can actually be misconstrued. Reflect on how you greet staff each day. Are you expressionless, do you send the greeting with a smile, or do you actually frown without realizing it? Think about it: These approaches use the same words but convey totally different meanings.


With each interaction, your staff is observing your nonverbal clues to identify the meaning in your words. If it's not appropriate to smile, then don't, of course. But when you can, go for it. The modest energy you exert will profoundly impact your staff.