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Monkeys, Apes & Enthusiasm

When I talk to employees at EMC about how to be more effective at interviewing, we invariably end up talking about monkeys.

Well, not monkeys. Apes, actually. (There’s a difference.)

You see, apes spend a lot of time mimicking each other. One ape will make a face, and the ape sitting next to her will make the same one. What’s up with that?

Turns out, humans do it to.

If you smile at someone walking down the hall way, they’ll instinctively smile back at you before they realize they’re doing it. Don’t believe me? Try it.

Researchers have found that smiling isn’t just something you do when you’re happy. Smiling actually makes you happy. So when you see someone smiling and then smile back, you feel the way they feel. It’s a form of nonverbal communication.

I tell people to smile during interviews because they’ll come across as more enthusiastic, and the person interviewing them will feel better about them, too.

So when I saw this brilliant video, Life is a Marathon, it brought a smile to face. Enthusiasm is infectious. Go spread some today!

Image by Owen Booth. Hat tip to Curiosity Counts