We could all use a reason to smile more.
If a simple smile could transform the way you do business for the better, wouldn’t that make you grin?
In the past few months, we’ve been exploring some concepts of the hospitality industry that I’ve learned over the years in our Creating and Elevated Environment series. I designed this series to provide you with the tools you need to succeed in your business. Of course, this series is geared towards anyone working in hospitality like myself, but a lot of these teachings can be applied to pretty much any other industry or any other area of life. I’ve learned a lot about people over the years and created this series as a way to help guide others in their own journeys while giving practical advice to apply in real-time, not just the metaphorical stuff.
We started out this series with the lesson of Express Your Love Openly. In that lesson, we talked about how important it is to show your appreciation for people and situations in a number of ways to open up stronger relationships with others. After that, the next lesson we went over was Put Energy into Being More Likable. In this lesson, we talked about ways to become a more charismatic and inviting person towards others and how that can help build your network and business. Finally, the last lesson in the series focused on Let ‘Em Off the Hook, which is having you take the fall for anything not according to plan to establish trust and respect in your relationships.
If you’re curious to learn more about any of the previous topics we’ve covered, feel free to browse the links included here or venture back to the introductory article here where I will be updating with links to each new lesson as it comes out.
As we continue in this series, the next topic we’ll be covering is about one of the easiest ways to improve your business immediately: smiling.
How Does Smiling Impact Your Business?
Well, I’m glad you asked. There are a lot of different ways that something as simple as a nice smile can impact your life and your business practice, and my goal here is to help illuminate some of those ways so you can use that knowledge to your own benefit. In essence, smiling can play a major role in presenting yourself and your business as reliable and caring, while also building confidence in the people around you and keeping any situations from escalating. Those aren’t the only reasons, of course, so here are my three main reasons why smiling is an effective strategy in managing your hospitality environment.
In my experience, when someone is genuinely smiling during any sort of interaction, it’s pretty difficult to not smile back. Say, for instance, you’re walking into the grocery store and the greeter welcomes you in with a warm smile. Odds are, you’ll give them one in return. I mean, there’s a reason people are stationed in those positions to greet you as you enter a business or store. When you are welcomed with open arms, you are much more comfortable in that environment.
Not only are smiles contagious, but oftentimes offering a sincere smile can genuinely brighten other people’s days. You never know who has had a run of bad luck or even just a bad day, so having a stranger offer you a kind gesture in the form of a smile can be a really uplifting experience for people. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m fine with saying it again. All people want is to feel loved. That was one of the main takeaways from our Express Your Love Openly lesson. People want to feel like you want to be around them, that you want to hear what they have to say. And as a business owner, you do. So if everyone deep down just wants to feel accepted and appreciated, and something as small as a smile can help them feel that way, why wouldn’t you do it more often?
Another way to approach this idea is through the lens of psychology. In psychology, there is this principle of mirroring that is extremely useful to business, but it’s also just a useful piece of knowledge to have in general. Basically, the idea is that we subconsciously mimic what we see other people do around us. If you’re talking to someone and they cross their arms during the conversation, you may look down to find yourself standing with your own arms crossed and don’t even remember doing it. It’s not just with body language, either. It happens with speech and the words we say, too. When you’re in any position like sales, knowing about mirroring can be really useful. In fact, it’s a pretty standard tactic used by people in business to make other people feel comfortable and trust in you and your business.
Another way that smiling can improve your business is by helping to cushion any blow that’s come into play. Whether there was a mixup or a miscommunication, hiccups are bound to happen, especially in the hospitality industry. With so many different elements to manage, it’s really only a matter of time before something doesn’t go according to plan. When those things happen, those conversations with people can be really uncomfortable and really hard to navigate. You have to be careful about how you approach certain subjects because if you bring too much negativity into the conversation, you’re risking an unstable relationship between you and a client or staff member. To keep things above water for the both of you, remembering to smile and offer kindness and appreciation can help to lighten the situation. It helps things feel under control and like things are still good, which is exactly where you want the interaction to be.
The last vital reason to smile more is to present yourself in a way that people will be drawn to you. People are always going to be more attracted to someone who is smiling than someone who looks like they feel indifferent to whatever situation is happening. Making a conscious effort to smile more often is going to show people that you are a welcoming and inviting person. And remember, you are the face of your business. Whether you’re a business owner or a staff member, you are always representing your business. Having a smile on your face is a great way to make people interested in what you have to say and, by extension, your hospitality business.
Obviously, there are a lot of reasons to smile. The more you make an effort to smile, the more you’ll find yourself smiling when you weren’t even trying. Over time, it tricks your mind into seeing things in a more positive light, and that positive outlook is contagious. It’s uplifting to both you and the people around you, which means people are going to want to work with you and be around you. It makes you and your business feel like a positive atmosphere, and that is a huge part of what leaves clients with great experiences. Remember, your clients are your best advertisement. The better their experiences with you, the more likely it is they are going to recommend you to their friends, family, and maybe even strangers.
I hope this lesson has helped you see the importance of the way you carry yourself into your hospitality business and how smiling can play such an important role in hospitality. We’re definitely not done with this series, so if you’re interested in learning more about the things I’ve learned about creating an elevated hospitality environment, be sure to visit the main article here and stay up to date with the latest lessons.
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