It is impossible to be charming without eye contact that sizzles. We are judged by our non verbal signals long before we ever utter a word and mastering eye contact techniques gives advantage from the bedroom to the boardroom. While watching my young children’s interactions with teachers and other adults I noticed they were not engaging with effective eye contact. When asked a question they often looked down or away from their target instead of practicing solid eye contact. I know eye contact was previously a weakness of mine due to indifference so I am seeking to educate them early.
What is effective eye contact?
Getting eye contact correct is very situational depending on your objectives. Subtle nuances such as where you focus, length of focus, and intensity level make a big difference in how your body language is perceived. In general it is important to maintain strong eye contact especially when you are speaking. It is also good practice to do a confident scan of a new room upon entering it to project the right aura of confidence. One last thing to keep in mind if that eye contact norms vary by country so if you will be traveling internationally read up on the local customs.
What is not effective eye contact
- Not engaging others with direct eye contact is the biggest mistake. If your not effectively using your eyes to communicate you will not live up to your potential.
- Staring is creepy to women and not the desired state unless your practicing your inner Ted Bundy. Other men may take it as a sign they your seeking a physical altercation, feeling lucky punk?
- Too much direct focused attention may give the impression you are hanging on the other person’s every word which has negative status implications.
- When looking at a person of interest show confidence and do not immediately look away when they engage you, that is a lack of confidence sign.
A good way to learn is to watch a a charismatic person work a room. Watch all their nonverbal signals including how they engage with their eyes. Watching someone with advanced technique and the response they illicit can be entertaining and good incentive for eliminating problem spots.