Improve your communication by faking it

by Betty Lochner on March 23, 2011

Communication can be hard.  And, we need all the tips we can get. Here’s one that’s simple to do and scientifically proven to work.

Here it is: you can improve your communication with someone by smiling. Even if it’s forced, studies show that changing your facial expression will change your mood.  Yep, you can improve your mood by faking it!

One study found that participants who were instructed to make certain faces created biological changes. In other words, they changed their emotions by changing their facial expression.  When told to make an angry face they experienced increased blood flow to their hands and feet, a biological response seen in those who are experiencing anger. When asked to smile they had physical reactions that were similar to those who experienced happiness.

You can actually change your emotions by faking it for a minute!

Communicate with a Smile

Try putting this one in your communication tool box. When you are feeling sad, angry or any other emotion that takes away from focusing on how best to communicate in that situation, just smile! It’s sounds trite, but it really will improve your mood.  It won’t magically cure your problem for you, but it may help a little in refocusing on a more helpful emotion and prepare to better listen, respond or react.

When you don’t feel like it, practice smiling. It might just make a lot of things go better for you!

Try it and let me know what happens!

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Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home. And, it’s now available on Kindle! Check it out.

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