Bright Lights in the Office


Turn on a smile and brighten the office climate. Ever since I heard Kevin Hart on the BET Awards in 2013 say “Turn up!” I just can’t stop saying it. Lil’ John has made millions with his song, “Turn down for what?” Funny, though I don’t just turn up when I’m listening to music or sitting with my friends. I feel the urge to turn up at the slowest, dull, sometimes most dead moments of my day. I turn up with a smile. Yup, a big teeth beaming smile is how I turn up in the workplace. Inside, I’m stressed out and trying to multi-task. But inside, my mind yells, “Turn up!” and I smile. It brings me up in a way that only an unexpected rainbow can.

When these odd moments happen at work, they brighten the room. It changes the dynamic of the conversation in the meeting, individual interactions, and even telephone conversations. The brightness of a smile radiates to everyone and almost requires them to turn up with you. Old school customer service training emphasized smiling through the telephone. It sounded odd, but now, thanks to Kevin Hart, I get it. I get how my smile can make you smile. At the very least, it can upgrade your disposition.

Why not turn up your world with a smile? A smile takes anything you say up a notch. A smile not only opens up your face, but it almost requires the person you’re looking at to open their face. The other person, as hard as they may try not to, will feel uncomfortable sitting there with a stern look on their face if you smile. We’re already talking business – statistics, flow charts showing the ups and downs of the financial statements – so why not at least throw some sunshine into the mix with a smile.

I’m not supplying any proven studies that will show the effects of smiling on moods and outcomes, although those studies do exist. Instead, I offer only this--you will become the sunshine in the room for yourself. The uplift you will feel on the inside with resonate to the outside and your engagement to the moment will heighten. Turn up a smile! You’ll feel better and change the countenance of those around you!