Wellbeing

It's written in your face

As humans we are capable of making over 10,000 different facial expressions that we have developed from a very early age to express how we feel, what we want and what pleases us.

We learn to read other people’s expressions and can have whole conversations without a single word being spoken. We have also learnt to read whether the expression is manufactured or real.

Psychologically all the emotions we feel inside are communicated onto our face for the entire world to see.

Think about everything you buy and the advertising messages we are surrounded by. Many organisations particularly advertising agencies use consumer facial expressions to successfully sell a brand and its products.

Here are some simple techniques you can use to benefit in the same way.

Smile and the world smiles with you

Your facial expressions spark neurons in your brain to trigger emotions. Smiling truly is infectious even if you do it when you are alone. A pleasant smile makes you more approachable, likeable and people will be drawn to you. Try it right now. Feel better? Thought so. Did you know that your face uses 50% more muscles to frown than to smile? This also means you use up more energy frowning than smiling.

Chin up

Keeping your chin up elongates your face and gives you a better eye line with the person you are conversing with.

This facial expression actually makes you look more intelligent. If you match it with raising your eyebrows a tad and opening your eyes just a little wider the other person will believe they have your undivided attention.

Synchronisation

Mirroring is a tried and tested selling technique that puts your customer at ease and helps them feel you are relating to them. Using your facial expressions to mirror a conversation is a really powerful technique as it allows you to listen to the customer without speaking. You can show your customer you have understood what they are saying and what they need by responding positively to them, particularly if the customer has a complaint. Note to self: when you practice mirroring don’t exaggerate your expressions or you may look a little excessive and others may feel you are not taking them so seriously.

Attention

You can also train yourself to have a positive body image starting from within. Using positive body language can change the way other people see you and how you perform at work. This can start with a technique called the ‘power pose’ and no, it doesn’t mean standing in the middle of the office like Madonna. Power posing is when you recognise how you position yourself during meetings and conversations. Look at your own body language and if you find yourself slouching or hunching in your seat change it to a more positive pose. Over time it will become habit and other people will begin to acknowledge your positivity, feel more optimistic about your presence and love having you around.

Ready steady… strike a pose.

by Neena Baid

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