Face Value

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in How You Look | 0 comments

Lets face it. We all have a resting face that we show the world when we are not paying attention. What do people see on your face when you are not trying? Grumpy, Happy, Dopey, Sleepy or maybe even Bashful?

599291-557269_seven_dwarfs_superYou have approximately 90 muscles and 14 bones in your face. Rarely do your muscles work independently, they work together in groups to communicate emotion. Our expressions come naturally to us; they are instinctive.  Long before an infant can utter their first words they have mastered the ability to communicate how they are feeling through their facial expressions. As adults, we have the ability to take conscious control of the messages we intend to send. A tense jaw and lips is often interpreted as anger, a blank expression with one raised eyebrow is a sign of disbelief, people who are lying might make inappropriate eye contact or avoid eye contact all together. There are hundreds of subtle signs and you don’t need to be an expert to interpret them in everyday life.

Disney may have created the seven dwarfs as a tale, however in fact there are seven universal expressions that are recognized and accepted in all cultures.  They are fear, surprise, sadness, anger, disgust, happiness and contempt.

First impressions are everything in business. People assume things about your mood and how approachable you are based on the clues they see.

Here are three ways to make the most of your first few minutes using your face:

  1. Use Your Smile. Showing your pearly whites the moment you lay eyes on your prospect can look phoney and show a lack of sincerity. When you first meet someone allow your face to relax into a  warm smile. Then within a few minutes once some rapport has been enhanced through other means of visual and oral communication you can give them a wide grin when appropriate. A genuine smile can create a bond between people that even the most eloquent of words cannot.
  2. Make Eye Contact. Make regular eye contact with the person you are speaking with. It shows an interest in what they are saying and that you are paying attention to them. Your eye contact should be soft but sustained. Don’t fall into the trap of looking away, looking down or shifting your eyes around the room if you are nervous. Evasive eye contact is seen as a way to avoid interaction.
  3. Add Face Value: Keep your face turned to the other person. It indicates your willingness to let them share in your story, your emotions and signals your willingness to do the same with them. Letting them clearly see an emotional reaction to what they have said reflected in your face builds trust.

Being conscious of your facial expressions will help you become a better communicator. If you want to connect positively make sure your face is a happy one and your voice has a smile in it.

What’s the face of your Brand?

© Helene Oseen 2014
Share the word. Want to use this article in your e-zine or web-site? You can as long as you use this complete blurb with it: Helene Oseen is a speaker, author and personal brand expert who helps people increase their personal power in business and in life. Find her at  www.heleneoseen.com


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *