What would you like those subliminal messages to say?
A woman I know often delivers a negative message about herself. She frequently frowns, walks in a slumped, stiff posture and complains, as she can find the worst news in any story.
In her mind, someone is always trying to take advantage of her. If her TV service offers her a low price for add-on channels, it’s because they have a “hidden agenda.” If her employer pays her a bonus, it “should have been more. I earned it.”
Can you imagine why after many years working for that employer, she never rose very high in the organization? Her body language, her attitude and her words reflect her sour outlook and make it hard for people to want to get close to her.
By contrast, my friend Nerses Tumanyan is very popular. An Armenian immigrant who came to Los Angeles with his family in 1990, he and they learned English and took over the ownership of a small grocery store, the Malaga Cove Ranch Market in Palos Verdes Estates.
As Nerses and his family work long hours, 7 days a week, including holidays, they don’t complain or conduct themselves with a sour attitude. Instead, they treat their store like an extension of their home and they learn the names of the customers and give them a big smile and a warm greeting when those customers come into the store.
And when Nerses asks how someone is, he listens to the answer. If the news is good, he helps to celebrate it. If it’s bad, he wants to help to solve it, even if it means someone else replaces him in the store for awhile as he provides assistance.
As a result, the Malaga Cove Ranch Market, which is the size of quickie mart and which has big competitors nearby, attracts an incredible 12,000 to 14,000 customer visits a month. Among the customers are Hispanic laborers and Nerses has even learned a little Spanish so he can warmly greet them when they come in.
Nerses does the same thing for other nationalities as well for he has a love for humanity and it is easy to feel when one is in his store.
So what does this teach us about subliminal messages? As Nerses demonstrates, a smile and a warm greeting by name, and maybe even a hug, can make a big difference in the minds of others who receive it. It transcends nationality, culture and color and it says, “Welcome my friend. I think you are special and I’m so glad you are here.” None of us tire of receiving that message.
So what do your subliminal messages tell others about you?
When confronting a deadly disease, the loss of a loved one, the breakup of a marriage or some other terrible occurrence, we all feel sad, and our responses, subliminal or otherwise tell others.
But often people are doing well but have a negative outlook. “I can’t complain,” a man said to me in a serious tone when I asked how he was. But as I spoke with him, it turned out he was doing well, but his attitude wasn’t.
Let’s learn from Nerses and emanate warmth and make that our subliminal message. It will make life much more pleasant for us and for those around us. And it can also lead us to popularity and to business success.