When you smile, the simple act of your muscles pulling the lips upward sends a signal to your brain. Your brain begins releasing Endorphins that lower your stress. It also sends a signal to your brain to release Serotonin, which boosts your immune system, gives you energy, and makes you feel good.
Even when the smile isn't genuine.
Isn't that cool? You really can fake it til you make it. Fake a smile and in short time you will feel better.
You can do the same thing with other body language poses.
Power posing is another way to fake it til you make it. According to a Harvard study, when you strike a power pose, a pose where your body is open, not crossed, and in a larger than life position (think Wonder Woman with her hands on her hips), you increase your levels of testosterone while also decreasing your levels of cortisol.
What are the applications of this for independent retailers?
First, remind your staff to smile no matter how they feel. Just that act alone will make them feel better soon. Plus, that smile is infectious. If they smile, the customers will smile and soon everyone will be feeling better.
Second, teach your staff how to Power Pose every morning before the day begins. Have them hold that pose for a couple minutes before they hit the sales floor. Their energy will be better, they will have more confidence, and they will seem more likable and approachable.
Yeah, body language actually does make a difference, both inside and out.
PS That picture is from the Monroe Chamber of Commerce Business Summit. I had everyone Power Pose at the beginning of the talk. Got the energy of the crowd up before I launched a new motivational talk - Better Your Business by Being Your Business Better which includes elements of Understanding Your Brand with more examples of how it works in real life. If you would like your organization fired up and working towards a common goal, contact me. The presentation takes an hour (there is a 30-minute Reader's Digest version if you're strapped for time) and will do far more than just raise your testosterone or lower your cortisol.