To know me is to know that I'm a mother. I always have some story about my kids that helps illustrate a point in a meeting, builds rapport with a new client or simply breaks the ice at an awkward social gathering. I also tend to develop little sayings -- little phrases that help me illustrate an important message. When I'm lucky, the stars align for my kids to inspire one that helps us all be better people.
My daughter, E, inspired such a poignant three-word phrase at a company event once. She's a sparkler of a kid, so I started taking her to PR events at a young age as the ultimate shadowing experience. We stick to events where I think she'll fit in or add to the fun. Side note: it's helpful to have access to a camera-ready kid at a moment's notice!
Here's what she taught me that day. My team was playing a game and she wanted to get in on it. It wasn't her turn, so she scrunched up her face and put on a perfect 5-year-old pout.
"What's wrong, E?" I asked.
"Nothing!" she grumbled.
"Well, fix your face then."
My coworkers paused. Some chuckled. Maybe a few brows were raised. E sized me up and saw I was serious. Then my little girl took a breath and collected herself. The frown disappeared and her smile was back on in a flash.
I felt a little harsh in that moment. Even now there's a twinge of mom guilt. I could have said it differently but it just popped out in frustration. Guess what? She lived. Her whole mood shifted with that intentional change of her expression from a frown into a smile. She got the point and was absolutely fine. Moment past, kid back in a social mood, party goes on.
I know I won't win friends or influence people telling folks to "fix your face" when they're grumping. The phrase is catchy though, and reminds me to consciously manage my facial expressions when I'm around others. I hope these three words make you mindful of what your face is conveying throughout the day!