As a devoted Hamilton (the Broadway show) fan, one of my favorite quotes is “Talk less, smile more.” In the play, Aaron Burr is sharing his leadership philosophy with Alexander Hamilton. It refers to a national leader’s philosophy, but the leadership concept of “talk less, smile more” can apply to all of us as leaders.
Listening is an essential part of leadership. It’s how we gather information, build trust and create a team effort. When we are listening, we are showing how we appreciate the knowledge of the speaker. Listening and leaning in indicates that you are building rapport and trust with the speaker. Your listening empowers the speaker to share more information. In talking less, we are open to more. It requires that we hold back our own agenda and our own words to learn from others.
A smile typically is an invitation to a connection. As a leader, your smile is cultivating connections. Your smile is the bridge. The warmth and invitation of a smile indicates you are open. Even in the most stressful of leadership challenges, a smile and humor can lighten the situation and create solutions. A smile can lead to increased positivity about any situation.
How to get started smiling more? Create a new awareness of smiling. Place something that sparks joy (of course a reference to Konmari) on your desk. Like all new habits, it’s worth linking your smiling to an existing habit too. Perhaps you already smile and have noticed how powerful this is in your relationships and leadership.
Link here to listen on YouTube to Talk Less, Smile More