Dear highly valued readers,
Each week, I try to weave for you a sparkling tapestry of professional lessons that improve your life and strengthen your career. Using the best, high-quality story threads, I put together a series of relevant and easy-to-apply tips that you can apply to your own life, as they were related to me in the lives of global talent managers, from leadership experts, the best. selling authors, extraordinary ordinary people or even memories of my own experience.
But today, just for today, I swap my usual fantasy fabric of wonders for a colorful blanket of random thoughts, sewn lightly together by the twisted fibers in my mind.
From me to you, I bring you today’s pointers patchwork quilt.
I’m going to color this first patch bright yellow, because that’s the iconic color given to those ubiquitous smiley emojis you see everywhere. Everywhere except maybe now on some faces that don’t want to look older than they really are.
“What?” you can ask.
Well it seems There is new research from a joint project between Canadian and Israeli universities (which apparently extends to their previous research on the same topic) that indicates that you look older when you smile. (Unless you’re over 60 then you don’t look older, you just look the same.)
Here is what happened. Observers who have examined two photos of the same person (under 60) smiling and then not smiling, always guessed that the smiling photo was older than the image without smiling. Those laugh lines and crow’s feet that help us send signals to another human being that we are happy, compassionate, or full of joy, also signal advancement in our age.
“Oh my God!” I hear you exclaim. “Forget smiling for the camera during my next Zoom presentation or virtual meeting. I want to keep my youthful vitality.
“By the way, how old does a smile make you look according to the study?” “One or two years,” I replied. “That’s it.”
“Seriously? So what should I do with this news?” You are rightly following.
“Smile again” is my answer.
Fire and Nice
This next patch in the quilt is plaid. It starts with the fact that I tell how years ago, just a few weeks after the birth of my daughter, I was brutally fired by the company I worked for.
I was the first female manager to give birth in this company and although no specific reason was provided I suspected that I had to leave promptly at 5 p.m. each day to pick up my baby from daycare and that I couldn’t stay as late as everyone else had a lot to do with the decision.
I filed a complaint for unfair discrimination. We settled amicably.
Even though those difficult days are far behind me, I still remember very clearly who, among my former colleagues, reached out to me and said nothing.
Just over a week ago, CNN fired longtime presenter Chris Cuomo. The reasons for his departure were linked to an accusation of sexual harassment and to texts indicating that he had provided unethical assistance to his brother, Andrew Cuomo, who was waging his own battle against sexual harassment as governor from New York. Andrew is no longer governor and now Chris is no longer a CNN presenter.
If someone you work with is made redundant, what should you do? My recommendation is to let them know that you are thinking of them. You don’t have to weigh in on the problem and jeopardize your own reputation with your business, but you don’t have to fall into obscurity either.
Host Don Lemon was an on-air friend of Chris. They presented a podcast together and often joked before the commercials as their programs took turns.
Maybe Don contacted his former coworker privately, but as of this writing he hasn’t said a word on TV or written anything on social media.
Other colleagues have mentioned it publicly. I’m surprised former best friend Don didn’t.
This is the gift to receive
And finally, my last patch today for you is in red and green like Christmas wrapping paper. While this is the season for giving, I want to share a little lesson on the importance of receiving too.
How often do we pass just after opening a giveaway, receiving feedback, or even a thoughtful note?
How quickly do we lose focus on the interaction we are having with another person and become re-absorbed by our thoughts, some external activity, or maybe even that next random notification that comes from our phone? Are we easily distracted during this busy time?
I remember a story that one of my American clients told me. One Christmas, he gave each member of his team a copy of his favorite book.
He explained that it was the most memorable book he had ever read and that he wanted everyone on his team to read it as well. Everyone thanked him and promised to do just that. But, my client was delicate. On page 112 he wrote in the margin: “When you get to this page let me know and I’ll give you $ 1,000. “
He waited until the end of January. No one reached out.
Smile. Be nice. Be true to your word. There is a great reward.