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The Game Changer? It Starts With a Smile.


In a society driven by computers, artificial intelligence and technology applications, what is your biggest asset in personal and professional pursuits? Microsoft certification? Website building knowledge? Apple certification? Understanding of Meta trending algorithms? Ability to influence social media? No. I offer the real game changer, stellar face-to-face people skills. What? Something so simple and old-fashioned? In a world that prefers to hide behind a keyboard, I propose that what will set one apart from their competitors is disciplined, people skills and genuine interest shown in others, reflected by a smile.


Over my years as a physical therapist, I have worked as a staff clinician and as the manager of multiple departments. Through my experience of hiring and firing employees, I found the greatest determining factor to success was good people skills. Does the employee take on responsibility and ask to be cross-trained for other team functions? Does the employee demonstrate professional and welcoming phone skills? Is the employee timely? Does the employee ask for help when needed, and help a team mate when asked? Does the employee give pro-active communication to allow the team to function smoothly in the face of unexpected change? In the workplace today, one must possess a certain standard of computer skills; however, this doesn’t guarantee success or set one apart from the rest of the team. It only gets one in the game.


What gets one noticed? Show up early. Stay late. Cross-train with others. Demonstrate good phone etiquette. Treat your teammates and clients with respect. Give a hand. Lift spirits. Help others. SMILE. When your presence makes everyone around you better, you will become noticed and a leader in your field.


So, if you want to be successful, it is good to possess adequate computer skills; however, in this Silicon Valley leaning world, it is better to be a person who puts an emphasis on teamwork and lifting those around you. And …It all starts with a SMILE, followed by an outstretched hand. A smile to lower the guard of those around you and an outstretched hand to offer and receive help.

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