I was at a CMAA (Construction Owners Association of America) Conference and was eating breakfast when I noticed a group of Italians greeting each other in the morning. It looked a little like the first photo to the left. They were full of energy, they were animated, they were smiling, they clapped each other on the back, they kissed cheeks, and they loved every minute of it. They were loud, laughing and smiling at everything that was said.
Then, I walked downstairs to the CMAA. It was like a scene from the walking dead. Almost everyone I passed had, at best, a stone face, and at worst, a morning scowl. See the second photo. This is how most contractors and engineers seem to start their day, with a scowling or neutral face. I’m not sure if that was before or after coffee, but my guess is that coffee makes little difference. We talk about this much in our programs. What is your face conveying when you aren’t thinking about anything in particular? For most engineers and contractors, it’s this neutral or scowling face. And that’s a shame. Because when I ask how these folks are doing, they usually say, “Fine!” or “Great!”. It’s time to let your face know what your heart is feeling.
Back to the Italians. What a way to start the day. I wonder if this way of starting the day has a positive effect on the rest of their day? I’m sure it does. So think about this next time you hit the ground tomorrow morning. How are you starting your day? With low energy and a scowl? Or with high energy and a smile? It’s certainly a choice. What choice are you making? If you opt for high energy and a smile, I think you will find that they entire day will go much better.