Back when I ran the moving company I installed a small mirror at head height inside my office. Every time I wanted to leave my office, I would have to confront my reflection.
It wasn’t to check my teeth or my hair. It was to make me aware of my natural tendency to look frowny. When I’m in the throes of concentration, the corners of my mouth naturally turn down. My “resting frog face” wreaked havoc on my team.
One fall day in 2007, I was in full focus mode, walked out of my office to go to the restroom – contemplating the whole time – and returned to my office to resume my work. What I didn’t know was, based on my doomsday facial expression, the team was in a tizzy, worried and wondering. Luckily one of my team members gave me a clue when they popped their head in and asked, “Is everything okay?”
The next day I installed the mirror and put a big cheesy sign above the mirror that said “SMILE!”
As the leader, your team watches you. Even if you’re completely transparent, they will still look for clues. They will try to read you. It’s a natural survival instinct.
Be aware of what your natural tendency non-verbals communicate (fidgety, eye-rolling, distracted, arms crossed) and choose to actively shift those that don’t serve you or your team.
We continue to receive rave reviews for Culture Works: “Kris writes from the heart so you can lead from the heart. Improve your business AND be a positive influence in the lives of those you lead. Read Culture Works and learn to lead with joy,” Nancy Greatrix Manley, Human Resource Director at Room & Board. Purchase yours today!
Kris Boesch is the CEO and Founder of Choose People, a company that transforms company cultures, increases employee happiness and boosts the bottom-line. She is a nationally renowned speaker and workplace culture expert. Boesch is also the author of Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace and developer of the Choose People 360° Culture Audit. Kris is also a proud mother, dancing diva and dog lover.