Ballroom for Business

Did you take ballroom dancing when you were growing up? Have you thought about how those lessons prepared you for corporate life?

In business, one of the key lessons for you as an employee is to follow the lead of your boss. Following someone else’s lead in dancing isn’t easy. It takes a certain amount of skill, a certain amount of trust. But the key thing is to be light, to respond to the slightest pressure. It’s not so different in business. You go with the flow. You listen to your boss’ direction, and respond without hesitation.

Being female, I wasn’t taught how to lead. But when you watch the winning ballroom couples, the guy knows the steps, he knows the moves, and he makes the girl look good. The best managers are much the same. They’ve spent the time to learn the business. They know how to create a kickass team, and boy, can they wow the customers.

But what else do you see when you watch ballroom dancing? Beyond the costumes, beyond the fancy footwork — the simplest thing: the smiles. The best couples are smiling. They’re smiling at each other. They’re smiling at the audiences. They’re smiling with joy. They’re smiling with mischief. They’re smiling with grace. No brows furrowed in frustration. No lips pursed in concentration. No sign of exhaustion or discomfort.

I ask you — wouldn’t your workpace be better if you and your boss, you and your employees, could smile like the ballroom dancers do?

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