She complained. She whined. She lied. She talked behind people’s backs. She created chaos. Do you know this person? I’ve met a lot of individuals like this! The trouble is, this person was leasing a lot of apartments! She was a leasing machine.

So, what are you to do? Counseling sessions made her even harder to deal with because she turned them into a negative experience. “Was she really worth the effort I put into keeping this person happy?” I wondered. I quickly realized that the answer is no. It is not worth it. Let me tell you why.

Happiness is the Key to Leasing Success
I truly believe that the star performers are the best at what they do because they are happy. Does success feed that happiness? Yes, but it is not the only thing that drives people to happiness.

One negative person can take away joy, fun and trust from the entire leasing and management team. Smiles can be quickly replaced with eye rolling and defeat. Why? Because emotions are highly contagious; they easily and quietly spread through nonverbal cues.

However, when we interact with people who are in a good mood, we start to copy their body language, tone of voice and expressions. Studies show that seeing a friend smile can activate the muscles in your face to make that same expression, without you trying to do that. And, once we mimic someone’s physical behavior, we actually start to feel the same emotions. When we smile, we elevate our mood. Scientists call this “facial feedback hypothesis”.

Even if you don’t feel like it, make sure you smile. Here’s why: when the brain senses the flexion of certain facial muscles (like the zygomatic major, which is required to smile), it interprets it as “Oh I must be happy about something”, Alex Korb, PhD, wrote in Psychology Today: “Similarly, if that muscle isn’t flexed then your brain thinks, ‘Oh, I must not be happy’,” he added.

There really is science behind the effectiveness of a smile.

Smile and Weed out Negativity
Removing the person on the team who is everything I described in the first paragraph resulted in more leases! Yes, we no longer have that leasing machine I referred to, but now that the mood is positive and fun, everyone else is producing better results. The ability for our team to achieve their goals increased.

Want a more successful team? Spend time spreading your positive attitude. Be in their space so your team can mimic your verbal and nonverbal cues. Most importantly, get rid of the complainer. Have confidence that your team will rise up when the problem is removed.

Smile and change the outcome.