The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Top Secret Weapon for Creating Connections

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, October 10, 2016
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Let me pose this riddle: What can curve at the corners, droop in lopsided fashion, stretch to great extremes, crunch noses into cherries, crinkle eyes into almonds and turn rain into sunshine? What responds when your heart is breaking, when Irish eyes are doing it, when you want the whole world to join you? Here are some further clues: On Mona Lisa, it's lacquered; for politicians it is often plastered. Howdy Doody puppeted it.Emmett Kelly sobbed it.

Give up? The answer is “a smile”!

Having traveled throughout the world, I find that a smile is part of universal language that breaks down barriers, gets people to help you, and can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. This facial expression is shared regardless of our culture. It is one of our common, human denominators.S. ome scientists take it quite seriously, claiming that the upward turn of lips is actually a primal, silent scream.  Personally, I think they're wrong. I don't think a smile is any ONE thing. Consider what a smile opens for inspection: There's the plastic smile, the sickly smile, the I'm-smiling-now-in-front-of-these-people-but-wait-until-we-get-home-smile. Or picture the teasing smile, the mocking smile, the knee-slapping grin. Recall the dentifrice ad smile, the snaggle-tooth smile, the gold inlaid smile, the electric warmth lover smile, the wistful grandmother smile, the dimpled baby smile.  Why there are enough smiles to mandate writing a lexicon for understanding!

But for the moment, bask your thoughts in the last smile that you received - the one that you answered, that made you feel like you had been noticed and accepted just for being YOU, that maybe even made you straighten your shoulders or skip or whistle.  Pretty powerful reflex!

I'd like to think we have real facial power that can become proactive rather than reactive.  We don't have to wait for that feel-good moment when a store clerk, a friend, a passer-by, or even the stranger in the elevator flips a smile in our direction.  WE can be the senders.  Can't figure out why we hoard such a precious thing as an I-care-for-you-fellow-human smile. Too often we're like misers, giving away the most meager coin in our rusty treasure chest.

When you experience some days of gloom and doom, high rates and low expectations, moral majority and immoral minority, what a difference it could make if we unleashed the power of a genuine smile!  What a transformation might arise if we answered that instinctive (and probably primal) impulse which is often pushed to the bottom of our gut and just for one week—nay, even one day—turned a real megawatt smile on our world.

I'll bet OPEC would pay richly to tap this energy source!


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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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