It sounds simple and it is. Smile. Smiling is an incredible key to success in just about anything you choose to do. For some of us smiling comes naturally. For the rest of us, due to being shy or overly self-conscious, smiling is a challenge.

Think about this. If a person smiles at you, are you more or less likely to interact with them? Or, conversely, if a person scowls at you, are you more or less likely to interact with them? Okay, not everyone you smile at is going to smile back. And, no doubt, there are those individuals who, because of their own shyness, might be put off by anything other than a neutral look on your face.

However, by and large, if you smile when you interact with people they are going to be put at ease and feel comfortable in your company. In fact, simply smiling at folks will likely increase your likeability. We like doing business with people we like. We date people we like. We want to be around people we like. We associate with people we like. No one enjoys working with someone grumpy.

The act of smiling often takes some degree of self-awareness. This is not particularly critical for individuals who have it in their nature to smile. They have been smiley people, probably since childhood. Yet, the rest of us have to be up to the challenge of reminding ourselves to smile.

A good exercise is to go into a store and purposely smile at the salesperson you are interacting with. Make a mental note if they smile back. I am pretty sure that most of the time they will, as long as you do not grin at them like a horror movie villain. Be subtle.

What is the importance of this? When we smile we feel better than when we do not. When we feel better we are more likely to be accommodating of other people’s needs. Now, if you are in sales and you are not in the habit of smiling, you are probably losing out on opportunities. The more you smile, the more people will like you. The more they like you, the more they will buy.

Again, smile but do so subtly. Try smiling. What do you have to lose?

Image courtesy of [anankkml] /

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

You can reach me with your questions and comments at Like today’s column? Check back frequently.