I like to think that I’m a fairly stoic person who’s in control of my emotions most of the time. But I’m really not. If something amuses me even a little bit, I tend to smile. I’m also one of those people who has the ability to take myself out of the moment and see what’s going on as if it’s a scene in a movie or play and kind of react to it in that fashion also. Sometimes, for me, reality isn’t real at that moment but entertainment; I like being entertained.

I tend to think this benefits me when working with others; it another way for me to communicate with them, hopefully in a genuine way. There are a lot of people who seem to feel that they have to always mask their emotions, even the positive ones, when in the presence of others. Frankly that bothers the heck out of me because many times those expressions look like disapproval, and no one wants that. As a matter of fact, every once in awhile I’ll call someone on it, and their face will take on this look of surprise, as if they had never considered that they could be projecting anything other than… what exactly?

I actually think that’s an interesting point; exactly what are people trying to convey when they fight hard not to show any emotion at all? For men, is it a macho thing, like what many rap artists try to portray? For women, are you trying to prove that you’re a tough, serious business person?

Folks, I’m here to tell you that if you’re not giving even a little bit of yourself to the people you work with or engage then you’re failing as a communicator. Sure, people have different motivations for wanting or having to work with and for other people, but if they’re not doing it because they enjoy working for you in some fashion you’re never going to get the best from them.

When people work out of fear they’re going to make mistakes. When people work without knowing what your reaction is going to be because you portray apathy, they’re going to not only make mistakes but shut down. And, of course, if people think you’re always angry, they’re never going to come to you for clarification, and once again they’re going to make mistakes. And you as a leader will blame them, but the fault is yours.

Give a little something more to the people you work with than just being there. The benefits you’ll receive on the back end will be staggeringly positive.