Thursday, May 1, 2008

The smiley face is everywhere. We teach our children to smile, tell them to look friendly, be polite. It is the key to good customer service. Retail associates are taught to smile and greet the customer. It works, unless you’re in some place where it doesn’t.

Americans generally associate smiling with being warm, welcoming, friendly. But in Lithuania that isn't always true. When told to smile more, a trainee says “Why? No one will trust me”. A Russian mother tells her daughter, “only smile at people you know.” A French professional says, “People who smile all the time must be stupid.”

Is a smile a sign that you’re sneaky, trying to ingratiate yourself or that you’re interested and approachable? Does it mean I agree, I like what you’re saying? Or simply, I hear you, acknowledge that you’re speaking?

Smiling is good – unless its not.

No comments: