'A man without a smiling face must not open his shop' Chinese proverb
Think about that for a second. Let it sink in. Now we all have had days when the last thing we want to do is smile. However, as a business owner and leader of the pack it is imperative that you do. How can anyone in your school feel good and upbeat if you don't feel that same way? Here's a hint, they can't!
'Your smile is a messenger of your goodwill.'
When someone walks into you dance school and they see you the person in charge, the last thing you want to convey is that you are disagreeable or unapproachable. Ok, so you may not be a person that likes to smile or perhaps you are more of the serious type. That is fine but I'm sure that you know that to be in a successful business you will be called upon many times to go outside of your comfort zone. If you do not like how you are being treated by your customers it may be that they are treating you as they feel they are being treated. Change the environment and you will change how everyone at your studio behaves. It all starts with you. Try this, next week make sure that you smile at everyone that you meet at your school. Even the pain in the necks, you know who they are! Say something pleasant to them, just make sure you mean it and watch what happens during the week.
Have an angry customer? Once they vent a bit, try to smile and start to work out a solution. Even if you are talking to someone on the phone who is angry try to smile and see how your thought pattern changes. You will be amazed and surprised at how you and other will respond.
'Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be'
Don't feel like there is much to be happy about? Think again! No one said this was going to be easy. Some days are downright dreadful but you are in a wonderful business where you are doing something you love. Sharing your gift and bringing joy to everyone who connects with you at your studio, don't forget that very important fact. If you focus on all the bad things then you will have a negative and jaded outlook on your development. If you focus on the good in your students, parents, faculty and staff then you will be positive and your development will be that same way.
When was the last time you gave honest, sincere appreciation to your customers and employees? If you can't remember then it has been too long. Go that extra mile and tell them what you think with a smile. Remember no one can do that but you and it does not cost you anything. Furthermore the recipient cannot request it, It must come from you. Make it a point over the next few months as your season is coming to an end to say something that is nice, even if you just say thank you to them for being your faithful customer. Then smile and let them know you appreciate them as a human being.
The side benefit of all of this is that it will come back to you. Sure there will be some who will still be takers, complainers and just plain miserable. But wouldn't you rather have them be that way instead of you? Once people see how you operate, they will either be with you or against you. Once you know where you stand you can then go about exploring ways to finding solutions to the problems or propose an exit strategy for those who are just trying to bring you down.
Your happiness will reflect on everyone at your studio. Your smile will be infectious, unfortunately, so will your frown. Pay close attention as to how your front desk people meet and greet your clients and students. If you set the standard of happiness they will either have to follow suit or I suggest you have them move on to other employment.
'Your smile will brighten the lives of all who see it'
Try this, before class is about to end have your class gather around you. Smile at them and tell them you are very proud of their progress this season. Call each person out by name and find something that they have improved upon even if it is the most rudimentary thing to you it is probably a big deal to them. Thank the group for all of their hard work and let them know you have noticed and that you care. When you open the door to let the class out watch closely to their body language and see how the walk away.
Remember that your smile belongs to you and is only yours to give. So give and watch how that reflection comes back to you tenfold!