Saturday, January 24, 2015

It Begins With a Smile

Week 2 of the #youredustory blogging challenge is how I will make the world a better place.

It begins with a smile.  I remember a long time ago, someone was talking about how difficult it is to not smile when someone smiles at you.  As a fairly new employee in my district I work to build relationships with the teachers, staff, students, and parents I work with.  The smile is the first step.  Whenever I pass someone, it gives me the opportunity to brighten everyone's day by smiling as I pass and say hello.

Here is a smile challenge:

  • For one week smile at any/all people you pass during the day.  If it is people you see everyday and multiple times a day, do it EVERYTIME. 
    • Make sure it is authentic and if you can get your eyes to light up or twinkle that is even better
    • Smile at everyone in the office, school, classroom each time you cross paths
    • When approaching a student or someone with a question (sometimes an annoying question) if you start with a smile, it changes how you start the conversation to a positive and provides an opportunity to build a relationship and trust rather than getting off on the wrong foot
    • If you are somewhere like the grocery store, smile as you pass others in the isle and see what happens.
It will take a while for you to start smiling automatically when encountering others.  You will need to make a conscious effort at first.  Soon it will become something you just do and you get to reap the benefits.

Here is how the smile challenge has/is impacting my life:
  • My interactions have become more positive especially with students and challenging staff members by starting the interaction with a smile and authentic greeting
  • I love watching and counting how many people I can get to smile back at me... There are always a few of the curmudgeons, most will change their demeanor and smile back
  • I am modeling for my son and my students, teachers, and others the impact a smile can have on others
Now for a short tale of the impact it has had.  During our ornament exchange in our district office, I received a chessire cat ornament.  There is always a story that goes with each ornament and I received that one because I am known to be smiling wherever I go in the office.  I did not even realize that I smile that often, that is how automatic it has become for me.  Now, the chessire cat also has mischievous eyes (also a trait of mine) which is story for another time.

Take the smile challenge and see how it impacts you and those around you!

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