Is your face your fortune? Does your face fit? Do you face the facts? Why the long face? We use the metaphor of our face all the time in everyday language. Yet, we can underestimate the role of our face in developing professional relationships. Your face can tell a story without you even opening your mouth.

This blog is about being intentional to give you an edge in how you present yourself and where you want to influence other people. Narcissists, look elsewhere. It’s also about your emotional intelligence and being able to read other people’s faces.

From the inside out

A word of caution. Swimmer, Rebecca Adlington, has suffered terrible online abuse about her nose. Yet, she is an Olympic Gold medal winner. Increasingly, young women are resorting to plastic surgery because of the pressure to look a certain way. Self-esteem and mental health problems are on the rise among students today. Take the advice of Action for Happiness on being accepting (of yourself) and resilient.

Don’t let the trolls win. Everyone’s face is unique, so use it to your advantage. Expressing the real you with confidence and security from the inside out will always shine through and allow the people that really matter to see the amazing person you are within. Like this wonderful guy:

(Mr. Happy Man from Matt Morris Films on Vimeo)

A picture tells a thousand stories, so they say. How you feel on the inside is often portrayed (or betrayed) by how you look on the outside. Take a look in a mirror and see your face as though for the first time. What does your face tell you about what’s going on beneath the surface?

‘A smile costs nothing’. The act of smiling has long been known to have a positive physical effect on you and other people as this article shows. The more you do it, the better you feel. People want to employ people who make them feel good and happiness is contagious.

From the outside in

Your face has many moving parts including your eyes, eyebrows, mouth, lips, and nose. They can all say something about you in different circumstances. Read more here about the language of your face.

When you are building relationships with other people, reading their body language, including facial expressions, can help you empathise. Reading emotions can help you connect with people so they warm to you. Being likable is one of the attributes employers seek. Take this quiz on reading facial expressions to measure your emotional intelligence.

Job Interview

When you meet people for the first time, you want to be remembered and to remember them if you meet them again. Some people say they never forget a face, others struggle consistently. It can be embarrassing when you get blanked or they recognise you but you haven’t a clue who they are.

Academic research into facial recognition has shown that we are more likely to remember moving faces compared to static faces. When the margins between candidates at interview are small, how you express yourself through your face may give you another edge. The way you enter the room and move your head during an interview really do mean first impressions count!

Online Professional Profile

Social media platforms and the advance of technology mean our ability to show our faces through photos and videos have become ever easier. The importance of presenting our face favourably has grown as we increasingly network online and in person to develop professional relationships.

Let’s face it (!), that means taking control of how you want to be seen on the likes of Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. So make sure they see you at your best by getting a professional profile photo for use online. The increasing use of video for CV profiles and interviewing are also going to mean more attention to managing how you look, as well as what you say.

There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it – Dale Carnegie

How are you managing these four ways in your contact with the world?