Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Do you have a recognizable smile?

"Britons are being told not to smile for photographs when applying for new passports to avoid confusing new security scanners introduced at airports worldwide, officials said yesterday." (From today's Jamaica Observer.)

Makes sense if the "photographs must show no shadows: your face looking straight at the camera, a neutral expression, with your mouth closed" for the current iteration of recognition technology to work properly. But it got me wondering ...

What's your usual facial expression at work? Do you smile? Or do you scowl, or purse your lips? Do you furrow your brow, or flare your nostrils? Do you stiffen your jaw or flash white-hot glances? Do you unabashedly yawn or look right through people?

Nonverbals speak loudly. And meaningfully. Often to the detriment of ourselves ... and others.

So take some time today and look at yourself in the mirror. Assess, as objectively - and as accurately - as possible, exactly what message your facial expression is sending when you're not otherwise paying attention to it.

So many are so serious at work. Too serious. While looking in the mirror, practice your smile. If it isn't already, try making it one of you most recognizable facial features and see what happens.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous teho said...

Now let me see, what stealable brilliance do I see here today?
:-)

Thursday, September 8, 2005 9:42:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Phil Gerbyshak said...

No smiling? For me not to smile would be so anti-Phil that I couldn't do it. Even your post about not smiling gave me reason to smile. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing. Maybe we can band together to be the "Gotta Smile Patrol" catching people smiling when they otherwise shouldn't be?

Sunday, September 11, 2005 12:51:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous beezee said...

Thanks, Phil. One small change to the paradigm - instead of "catching people smiling when they otherwise shouldn't be, how about catching people smile when they otherwise could be?!

Who's got examples of when people could be smiling?

Monday, September 12, 2005 8:29:00 AM CDT  

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