You might not know but I used to work for an insulation company when I first finished uni. I was always very formal on the phone with customers and colleagues. I was a professional and wanted to play the part. Daddy still mocks me for my telephone voice!
Then Shell came along.
Shell was the person at head office I called when I made a mistake on the system that needed correcting. It might have been awkward to call and admit a mistake but Shell was LOVELY. She would always answer the phone with a super cheery ‘Helloooo’ and instantly make you feel like you were in good company.
It made me realise that you can still be professional and have a personality, and that being friendly in a simple phone call can endear people to you so much that they remember you 10 years later and write about you in their blog.
These days I’ll quite happily crack out a smiley face emoji in an email to a client because most people like to connect with other people and formalities dehumanise us. (You’ve gotta read your audience though!)
Your nanny always preaches about smiling when talking on the phone because the other person can hear it in your voice. It’s a simple thing but makes such a difference.
Smiles are infectious, in person or over the phone. A smile can brighten someone’s day.
I’ve been walking down the street on my own in the past and got the giggles at a funny memory. I used to hide it because I was embarrassed about laughing like a loon on my own. But who’s going to see that and not smile themselves?! Now I mostly just go for it, and that makes me laugh even more!
You don’t have to smile all the time though of course. Perpetual happiness isn’t possible for anyone, and I don’t think faking it is healthy either. I’m partial to a good cry when necessary, or even just a gormless stare into the distance after a hard day when I finally get to deflate on the sofa. (Or when PJ Masks is on the telly and you’ve fallen asleep and I’m too tired to get up to get the remote). Don’t let anyone tell you to smile when you’re just not in the mood.
But never hide your smiles when they come easily, and always be generous with them. They cost you neither time nor money but can make a massive difference to someone’s day, and maybe even their life and yours.
I know I’m biased but your smile is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I’ve seen it bring joy to so many people. Wield it proudly and freely, and see just how powerful a smile can be.