The Power of Smiling

Posted on June 5th, 2012 in Tips and Secrets,Uncategorized by John Jensen


I have found from personal experience (and from a considerable amount of research) that one of the most important aspects of becoming a leader is the ability to smile.  Smiling allows you to connect with people and it allows others to connect with you.  A smile can be the difference between securing a job or being passed by for a different candidate.  It can also make all the difference in first impressions.  Even though we always say “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We can’t help but do so subconsciously.

Most of us know that smiling is important when it comes to impressing people, and anyone who has any experience performing in choir, dance, or any sort of performance has had it drilled into their heads since they first began.  One mistake we commonly make is believing that we are appropriately faking a smile.  A true, genuine smile is called a “Duchenne smile”, named after anatomist Guillaume Duchenne who studied emotional expressions. (Interesting note: Duchenne did most of his tests on severed human heads because he used electrical currents to stimulate muscles.)  Psychologists have found that while there are many types of smiles, the Duchenne smile is the one that genuinely reflects the emotion of happiness or enjoyment.  So what’s the secret?

The secret to producing a Duchenne smile is primarily to be sincere in your emotion to smile.  On those occasions, like an interview or speech you might need a bit more help.  The key is to fully engage your face in the smile.  If I told you to smile right now, you would most likely just create the smile with your mouth.  A Duchenne smile includes raising your cheek muscles to create “crows feet” underneath your eyes.  In a genuine smile your eyes will squint, your cheeks will be pushed up, and all parts of your face will be engaged.

Here are 2 examples of a Duchenne smile (these gentlemen understand the impact of a genuine smile):

If you can master the Duchenne smile you will almost always make a good first impression, or a memorable one when combined with other visual impacts. The worst thing that could happen is you stimulate positive chemicals in your brain and you feel happier.

Keep smiling,




One Response to 'The Power of Smiling'

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  1. on May 20th, 2015 at 4:52 am

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