Smalling revealed Ferguson seems to have mellowed as he's got older, and that he's not prone to ranting and raving as some would suggest.
The 23-year-old centre-back missed much of the start of the season with a foot injury, but he's since made 20 appearances for United.
His composed displays have won England recognition, and Roy Hodgson has called the former-Fulham man up for the upcoming fixtures against San Marino and Montenegro next week.
The defender, who has four caps for his country, revealed what life is like under Ferguson in an interview with Sport magazine.
Smalling said: "It's a bit of a myth that he rants and raves, and I think there are a lot of players who've worked with him who would give that statement.
"He's very much a family man and he looks after his players. If you have faith in him and what he's teaching you, he'll put faith in you."
Despite the calm demeanour, Smalling did admit he's been on the wrong end of one or two rollickings in his time.
When asked if he's ever experienced the famous 'hairdryer' treatment, Smalling said: "Not on a personal one-to-one, but on a team level, we've had some games where it's not been working out, and at half-time he's given us a rollicking.
"It's not so much intimidating, it's more that if it happens you know you're not doing your job. Our aim is to make sure that it doesn't get to that stage."
Smalling joined United in 2010 in a £10m deal from Fulham. His rapid rise from non-league football to Old Trafford has been well documented, and many mention Smalling as a future United captain.
But the Old Trafford defender is content to learn from those experienced heads around him for the time being.
"It was the leadership of Tony Adams I looked up to," Smalling continued. "Watching TV, you can't always see how much a defender talks, but even on TV you could sense that he was a real leader.
"Of course, Rio [Ferdinand] and [Nemanja] Vidic are the guys I learn from as a defender now.
"They really are among the world's best, and training with them each day is a real positive. I'm making sure I make full use of it for as long as I can."