Deploy the power of your smile

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in Workplace Communication

It’s an old bit of advice that smiling while you’re talking on the phone is one way to improve your phone demeanor. But how many people actually follow that advice?

New evidence may convince you to try it. Now scientists say that the people on the other end of the phone line really can tell whether or not you’re smiling.

A study by scientists at the University of Portsmouth reveals that smiling affects how we speak, to the point that listeners can identify the type of smile based on sound alone.

During the study, the scientists focused on four types.

The first type, called a Duchenne smile, is an open smile with lips drawn back, cheeks raised and crow’s-feet wrinkles around the eyes.

The second smile type is like the Duchenne, minus the “smiley eyes.” The third is a suppressed smile. Finally, scientists noted times when the speakers weren’t smiling at all.

The listeners could “hear” the different types of smiles the speakers made.

Bottom line: Smiling packs a strong informational punch and may impact listeners on a subliminal level. Deploy the power of your smile.

— Adapted from “Smile—and the World Can Hear You, Even If You Hide,” ScienceDaily.

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