Smile and the World . . .

Smile and the World . . .

. . . Smiles with You !

What is the difference between good service and superb service that blows you away? Being in a service industry I have pondered that my whole career. What I have come up with is as simple as it gets, but isn’t that almost always the case? We always think we have to move mountains in order to impress, or dramatically change the needle one way or another. When in fact, most times, it is the small tweak that makes the biggest difference. I suggest that the simplicity of a smile makes the biggest difference. Now, I do not mean a split second smirk from behind a counter. But a smile that never leaves your face, that is infectious, that radiates an energy that people are blinded by – that kind of smile.

  • Smile and the whole world smiles with you, frown and you frown alone.
  • I guarantee that if you smile while serving on the phone, it can be heard.

The task of service is the same, but the energy you bring to that task it what sets apart the good, from the great. We all know it; we’ve all seen it. You walk into a place of business and you can feel the energy right away, the bad energy that is.  Grumpy staff, without a smile, treating you like a disturbance in their day, when in fact you are one of the very reasons this business exists and should be treated as such. Now you walk into a five star service establishment, you are greeted with a smile, a can do attitude and a positive energy that is palpable. The staff is genuinely concerned about your experience and helping you anyway they can. When confronted with a tall order they simply smile and say “My pleasure” no resistance, no push back, just a genuine want to help. That is the type of service that is rare in today’s world; do not let it be your world – smile : )


What puts a smile on your face?

What do you do to put a smile on anothers face?

Tell me when you last disarmed a troubling situation with a simple smile.



By | 2012-06-05T05:00:18-07:00 June 5th, 2012|General, Inspiration|72 Comments


  1. Neil June 5, 2012 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Chuck –

    You are right, a smile can make someone’s day. It can be so simple, yet so powerful!
    “The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      It is the small things isn’t. I love your quote, I wish I had it in my blog, my wife would like to change the clothes I wear, but I’m sure she would take a smile.

  2. Rosemary June 5, 2012 at 7:06 am - Reply

    thanks Chuck, I will try this myself and pass this on to my boss

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      Good idea Rosemary, he is a pretty friendly guy. I know when you smile it just puts that extra spark in you no matter what the day brings.

  3. Patricia Kolstad June 5, 2012 at 7:18 am - Reply

    Hey Chuck!
    This is powerful stuff! I’ve realized as I have gotten older that a genuine smile and a nod to an elder senior citizen can honestly provide a needed lift in their day. I believe that most “senior” seniors don’t get the respect they deserve. And we all know that a “look” speaks volumes to the one that’s receiving it. A smile brings affirmation of a job well done, or acknowledgement of their presence, where a blank stare says . . . “you’re just not that important.” Bottom line, a 5 Star Smile will always be first on the list of connecting and making a difference when meeting someone in a business situation or a stranger out on the street. Thanks so much for this great reminder!

    • Lori Bristol June 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm - Reply


      This is so very true. As I walk through the lobby of The Wellington to visit my Granny I pass many of the residents who are sitting in the lobby just hoping to run into someone, anyone. A warm smile and quick hello makes their whole day.

      • Patricia Kolstad June 6, 2012 at 7:39 am - Reply

        Lorie . .
        You’ll be our Smile Ambassador at the Wellington! Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      Man you guys are good, well said. I appreciate you bringing up how this small jester truly can lift ones spirit, ever slightly maybe and maybe not for long but at that moment, which is what counts. I have loved your smile for many a moon, thanks for that light.

  4. Linda J. Bagley, LMFT June 5, 2012 at 7:45 am - Reply

    And each of you exemplify that smiling attitude every time I see you! Thank you for the great reminder!

  5. Jeff Turner June 5, 2012 at 8:33 am - Reply


    What a perfect first publication from you. You, more than anyone I know embody the “smile of joy and peace”. That characteristic of you helped to define the “Operations” role in our company in the most tangible of ways. Your smile is the icon of a man who would give you the shirt off his back, who loves you more deeply and more loyally than most. Chuck I wish more than anything I write here, that those who read this blog post could meet you. They would know in an instant the power behind what you shared.

    I love you my friend!

    • Patricia Kolstad June 5, 2012 at 8:57 am - Reply

      I second that! As I have said to you before, you are the great leveler, and one who practices what they teach! Thank you, Chuck, for being that person everyday.

      • Lori Bristol June 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm - Reply

        Except Saturday at 9:00am…..Lol!!

        • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 10:06 pm - Reply

          Well I’m not perfect, close, but…

          • Lori Bristol June 6, 2012 at 7:27 am

            Very close….. 🙂

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jeff, that is very heartfelt and I love you to. We have been on quite a journey together over the last two decades. We have grown through the ups and downs and I have always appreciated your quiet wisdom. Thanks for always being there when needed.

  6. Fitz June 5, 2012 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Chuck, So simple yet so true. This really rings true for our industry. Compassion starts with a smile. Thanks!

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      Yes it does, we need a little more smiles and compassion in this world.

  7. Tom June 5, 2012 at 8:44 am - Reply


  8. Molly June 5, 2012 at 9:57 am - Reply

    I love this post! I had it on my mind as I drove to work & it worked a little magic for me. I was waiting to make a right hand turn at a red light, I got the green but there was a man in the crosswalk. The car ahead of me zoomed in front of him but I waited for him & instead of avoiding eye contact or looking annoyed I smiled right at him. He saw me, he smiled at me & motioned at me to say “thank you”. I waved & made my turn, driving down the street with a big smile on my face & thinking, “I’ve got to tell Chuck!” – Thank you for inspiring me to have that moment and for giving myself and a stranger a bit of happiness & connectedness.
    Smiles are incredible & I’m very grateful to you for reminding me of it & awakening a desire to make smiling a bigger part of my life.
    Thanks Chuck!

    • Rosemary June 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      What a great story, Molly! This is a good reminder to not only smile at the people we meet, but those we encounter at a distance too.

      Also, I just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying the blog. Great job, everyone!!!

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      My pleasure, aren’t those unscripted moments with a stranger fun. Your story reminds me of a moment I had with my 7 year old son Cam. He asked me one day “why do you always smile and say hi to people when they pass by.” “First just to be friendly second maybe that is the only smile and or gesture they will get today, hopefully it may help them.” He pondered that and then looked at me, smiled, then asked “did that help you.” I laughed and told him” more then he will ever know.” Keep smiling Molly.

  9. Mark June 5, 2012 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Chuck…..Words of wisdom for all of us to consider….it really is the “little” things that we do, like smiling, that makes a difference….Your thoughts reminded me of comedian Phyllis Diller’s quote…”A smile is a curve that sets everything straight” Keep on smiling….Mark

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks Mark, great quote, I miss that crazy lady she was a classic. When I think about it she always had the wry smile on her face. Thanks for sharing yours, keep that light shining.

  10. Annie Downs June 5, 2012 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Great post Chuck! I miss your smile, and yes it is very infectious and makes a huge difference.; not only in how the service is received but in the way it affects the moment, the situation, and even the day. Keep smiling….Annie

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks Annie, it does make a difference in this world when we smile.

  11. Shasta Thompson June 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    Great post Chuck! A smile can make anyones day better, even your own. I find it helpful to get through the day by smiling at everyone because it always come back and makes me feel good, I think any positive energy like that is very powerful! 🙂

    • Anne Collins June 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      Shasta, I have to say, I have never met anyone with a sweeter smile, nor one that is more consistent. It makes everyone around you feel better for having received it. And of course, you get a lot of smiles back, like you said. I am glad to know you!

      • Shasta Thompson June 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm - Reply

        Thank you Anne! I’m glad to know you too! Yes, and making people smile is so amazing!

        • Lori Bristol June 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm - Reply

          Your smile makes my day Shasta!

      • Neil June 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm - Reply

        Amen Anne!

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      I have a confession Shasta “like the cola” I thought of you at one point when I wrote this blog. No offense to anyone on our incredible team but you embody this sentiment more then anybody. You have been a ray of sunshine in our care center, all accomplished with your wonderful smile. Thanks for all you do for the families we serve, keep on smiling.

      • Patricia Kolstad June 6, 2012 at 7:36 am - Reply

        Sweet Shasta. . .
        Your are my Sunshine, My Perfect Sunshine . . . You make me happy when skies are gray! Thanks again, Chuck!

        • Shasta Thompson June 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm - Reply

          You are so sweet, Pat!

      • Shasta Thompson June 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm - Reply

        My pleasure Chuck! Thank you!

  12. Karilyn Leslie June 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    “You’re never fully dressed without a smile!!” Little Orphan Annie. Thank goodness you come to work every day FULLY DRESSED!! LOL!! Your smile is infectious!!

    Love you my friend!!

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      You said it girl, you are not finished getting dressed for the day until you wear your smile. Thanks for sharing your lovely smile everyday. Love ya.

  13. Shayna Mallik June 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Great post and very inspiring. I myself agree a smile goes along way. When you smile it brightens everyone’s day including your own. Thank you for always smiling and brightening all of our days.

    Shayna 🙂

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      You guys make it easy. Whenever I walk into your office with Lori and Karilyn I’m always greeted with a smile, thanks for brightening our office everyday.

  14. Anne Collins June 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    Isn’t that the truth? A smile disarms even the most stubborn individuals. A certain gentleman has been in the neighborhood for years. He is just not a happy person and finds many reasons to be disagreeable with others. Lou and I took it upon ourselves to pray daily for him to “have a blessed day.” for several months. On top of that, we would smile and say “good morning” or “hi” whenever we saw him. He is who he is, but the consistent smile and greetings are breaking him down in a positive way. He doesn’t seem as disgruntled any more. More than anything, to me a smile opens the door for friendship, conversation or at least a way to let the unhappy or lonely person know they are not “invisible”.
    Thanks for a good reminder. You are good at sharing smiles and your warmth.

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      Thanks Anne, I have enjoyed your smile and laugh for many a moon now. It is a simple yet powerful jester isn’t it. I like your later statement” letting a lonely person know they are not invisible” what an incredible gift to impart on another fellow being and it’s free of charge. Keep on smiling.

  15. GREG FORSTER June 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Hi Chuck,

    Funny that I should read your blog today…great timing. I had a morning appointment today with a very nice couple to discuss pre-planning their arrangements. Due to their cultural background, some extra sensitivity and a slight increase in formality was in order for which they were most grateful, and which also allowed them to feel comfortable with me in their company. I was respectful and reserved without being distant…and as we progressed, the earnestness of my smile communicated more than words were capable of. A smile genuinely can form the bridge that makes a valuable connection. Looking someone in the eye when doing so solidifies that connection. It has been said that President Clinton is a talented communicator, not just to large gatherings as a public speaker, but people say that in a “one on one” situation, even within a large, noisy environment, he makes you feel as if you are the only person in the room. You are the most important person in the world at that moment. Imagine if we aim for that level of interest in others, and the power of communication that a smile can add to that conversation!

    Chuck, you disarmed me and made me feel comfortable when I really needed it last Fall as a “New Kid” here at O’Connor Mortuary. You did that with your smile first…the words came later…but it is your smile that I remember and I thank you for it.


    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks Greg, you are no longer the new kid on the block. What else can cut through cultural and communication divide more than a smile? It is an art to be able to make someone feel like they are the only one in a crowded room. Keep on doing it!

    • Patricia Kolstad June 6, 2012 at 7:42 am - Reply

      Well said Greg . . . I love your perspective.

      • Cherry Schlange June 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm - Reply

        On perspective: As a musician I have heaerd it said so many times over my schooling and carrer:
        I was just thinking (perspective!) perhaps a statement should be made about the smile since it is a most powerful communication without words (kinda like a hug!).
        So now, we can see how many other”sayings” people will come up with. Would be fun?

  16. Lori Bristol June 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm - Reply


    I agree with Jeff, for once. You are the perfect person to remind us to keep smiling. Your smile is very infectious and genuine.

    A smile is the simplest thing to put on in the morning, yet it is powerful enough to change somebody’s day.

    Love ya!

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      It is powerful enough to change somebody’s day, pretty incredible isn’t it. The more I interact with the readers of this blog the more incredible it becomes to me just how much a smile can do, I’m more convinced then ever now. Thanks for sharing your beautiful smile with us on a daily basis. I do not agree with Jeff to often either! Love ya.

  17. Carrie Bayer June 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    I love this, Chuck! I especially like to smile at total strangers- it’s so awesome to see their expression change when they realize you are smiling at them. I love to follow the smile with a sincere “Hello” or “Good morning” & I can say I’ve never had anyone deny me the same reply. It’s wonderful! Many people complain about their smile lines around their eyes but I love mine because I’ve earned them, one smile at a time…. Carrie

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      Hey Carrie, I love that thought, “I earned them one smile at a time.” I love when you practically startle a person cause they are so used to walking by people without any interaction. Keep on changing those expressions Carrie, thanks for sharing your wonderful smile with us. Love ya.

  18. Marianne Piotrowski June 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Infants and small children put a smile on my face very easily back in 2008 after I had gall bladder surgery I wasn’t feeling quite well. My cousins asked my brother to be there infant sons Godfather. After the baptism, they had a party at the forest preserves picnic area. The mom plopped the baby in my arms and went to play with her older son. Soon the infant was smiling and I was smiling at him and then singing to him.

    To someone smile I simply catch their eye and smile at them and they more often then not smile back.

    When was the last time I disarmed a situation with a smile. Well two people at work were having an argument at work over something totally stupid. I said, ” Oh please, your arguing about that. Come on give it up you know your both being ridiculous.” I smile a wide smile , and they smiled and soon we were all lauging.

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      Infants and small children will get you every time won’t they. They just smile with such ease wrapped in that innocence you just cannot help but smile back. Children get it don’t they, as adults we become bogged down with responsibility and we forget that it is all about relations and enjoying the moment in front of you and smiling. It is cool when you can change the bad mood and turn it around, nothing better, keep on smiling.

      • Patricia Kolstad June 6, 2012 at 7:44 am - Reply

        Nothing brings me more joy than when I see the smile on my Sofia’s face when I visit. Everything else melts away. Children give their smiles freely, without reservation. Oh, if we could be that open.

  19. Joanna Ramirez June 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Awesome post Charles!!! I agree. The simplicity of a smile goes a long way.

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 5, 2012 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Yes it does, I see a lot of smiles on all those photos of your baby girl and I see it bring big smiles to your face. I’m so happy for you Joanna and your new journey as a mother. Thanks for sharing your smile with us over the years. Keep it up!

    • Shasta Thompson June 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm - Reply

      Yes, thank you for the picture of Malia at our desk, they make me smile!

  20. Diana Williams June 6, 2012 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Great post Chuck! Thank you for sharing it everyday with us! It’s so contagious!
    In my role as “Director of first impressions” (thanks for giving me that title, Chuck)
    I see this everyday with the families I greet and talk with on the phone, it is a powerful tool!

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 8, 2012 at 9:41 am - Reply

      Let’s just say you are in the right seat on the bus Diana. And there are no two ways about it, it starts with your wonderful smile. But you not only do it in person, I have heard and seen you do it on the phone. As mentioned in the blog I guarantee people can hear your smile over the phone. On numerous occasions I have heard families mention how nice and thoughtful your receptionist (Director of first impressions) is. Thank you for all you do and sharing your wonderful smile with the world.

      • Lori Bristol June 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm - Reply

        I think those families who mentioned “your receptionist” were calling on the weekend.

        • Diana Williams June 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm - Reply

          Remember Lori that was the weekend you were off.

          • Lori Bristol June 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm

            I was supposed to be, but you got sick and they called me in.

      • Diana Williams June 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm - Reply

        I’m gonna keep on, keep on, keep on, smiling all through the day!

  21. Ms. Fran Cantor June 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Molly,

    Thanks for your E-Mail. Do Hope all is well.!! My response would be that there will be times when you will do a act of Kindness be on the unexpected norm and you will go be on your Service naturally. and you will just do it. Reason is we are “Born” with in us “God Grace” that we can’t seem to see others in “Sorrow” Helplessness ” So we give ourselves with a first “HELLO” & “SMILE”. I did for 14yrs. Love every minute. And Miss it. The Airport was private for all VIP !!! Met all kinds of personality.
    I had experience this when I was working at “Martin Aviation Airport” Receptionist & Customer Service, this took top priority in everything we did. I had done a Service be on my duty and an reporter that work with us saw me and Publish it in our “Newsletter” & I Received the only award Martin had ever given. I was only doing what came “Natural” Which I truly love doing till this day.!!!! I really was bless for having a wonderful position with people I care for and to connect with others. In Life one need to love oneself before you can give to Others.
    Nice hearing from you. Always: Frannie +

  22. Kim Stacey June 8, 2012 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Just a thought, from a recent trip to China. I was overjoyed to be there, and my time was spent on the subways in Beijing and Shanghai, or walking on the sidewalks of either city going to or from Buddhist temples. I was really, really, really happy, and smiled at everyone who would look at me. Literally hundreds of people – and I only got one smile in return. Smiling, which is an ability all human share, is a culturally-defined activity, just like so many other human behaviors!

    I’m so glad I live in a place where we can, and do, reach out to others in kindness with a gentle smile, a wave, and a gestural “thank you”! Thanks to Chuck for a great post, and thanks to the whole O’Connor team for such fine blogging!

  23. Chuck Ricciardi June 8, 2012 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Thanks Kim and welcome home. It is interesting when we get off of our island isn’t. I’m glad you mentioned this, people not responding to your smile or gesture.It reminds me that in reality although it is nice to get reciprocation really the benefit ultimately is for us when we smile, I just feel better when I do. I try not to give power to other people to affect how I feel, easier said then done I know, but you and you alone have the power to control what energies you choose to concentrate on, positive or negative. Thanks for spreading that grin all over China you made a difference without knowing it and definitely made a difference for at least one person and that matters.

  24. Loretta Griego June 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Chuck, Reading your blog really made me miss your wonderful smile! Its been a while but I can still picture it perfectly in my mind. And its not just a smile with your lips there is a smile in your eyes too.

    • Chuck Ricciardi June 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      Hey Loretta,

      Thank you that is very sweet, I certainly can recall your great smile, miss you, hope all is well.

  25. Amy June 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Smiles are contagious!

  26. Sharon Watkins June 25, 2012 at 6:48 am - Reply

    I sincerely hope it is true that smiles are contagious! I love giving and receiving them – especially to people that don’t seem to really want one, or expect one!

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