Bimbo Banter


Can Smiling Improve Performance?


  • Leadership
  • March 21, 2018
  • by Merrie Spaeth

I’m frequently asked “What kind of research backs up your teaching?” While we believe that our thirty years of experience is our first credential, we also voraciously look for studies and other material we can apply.

We pay attention to facial expression, particularly what we call the “listening face,” what people look like when they are listening. A facial expression signaling “I like you” and “I want to be here” helps bond the speaker to the listener. The ability to incorporate real smiling into delivery is one element of leadership.

Recently, we came across a study that links smiling and performance. Researchers were studying whether serious runners could improve their performance, particularly late in a race, if they consciously tried to smile. Not surprisingly, runners who tried to keep a smile on their faces ended up looking unnatural. The best results were achieved by bursts of smiling.

This makes perfect sense to us and is relevant to our clients. They may not be running marathons, but they are certainly running in the race of life and in the race for achievement. Let us teach you how to master this key performance skill.  



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