A favorite piece of feedback – “with the half-smile of the Buddha”

Years back I facilitated communication training with newly graduated women and men starting work as Analysts at a global bank.

Much of the two-day program is spent in role-play where the small group got feedback and coaching.

One young woman gave her presentation. She was clearly the smartest person in the room. Simply brilliant. Though you wouldn’t even know it.

She was devoid of any affect. That is, her face was frozen as was her voice and gesture. A crime. No one would know how incredibly talented and intelligent she is.

I asked her to give her presentation over again.

“This time, can you deliver it with the Half Smile of the Buddha?”

She did. The room erupted. Who knows what took over? This very slight adjustment changed it all for her. It worked.

Her colleagues were astounded how incredible she is.

The lesson is we can be the most talented, smartest person in room yet without our full physical expression and energy, no one will ever know.

I was most gratified by her full smile from her colleagues cheering for her. I don’t believe she had ever received this response before and she was fully appreciative.

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