Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Saturday, 4 August 2007

Learning to smile

From my Hamburg notes on internal learning: a smile. “I don’t understand a thing of Buddhist dialectics”, says the CEO of a Hamburg based company, sitting next to me, “I just come for his smile. I feel seeing his smile all these days just makes me a better person”.

A smile has many appearances. The professional smile of a stewardess. The calculating smile of a politician. The skeptic smile of our opponent in a debate. The seductive smile of a sales person. The artificial smile of a talk show hostess. And then there is always the genuine human smile. Any smile is meant to change something in us. But it is the motivation triggering the smile that determines the nature of that change.

A smile - a genuine human smile - is an expression of sharing affection and mutual happiness. From early childhood this is an essential non-verbal means of communication to express our appreciation for parents, family and fellow human beings. It is our common experience that a genuine smile gives us a happy feeling and we naturally respond with a smile. The more we can familiarize ourselves with a genuine smile the more meaningful relationships, dialogue, and positive change will emerge.

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