Saturday, June 21, 2014

Axiom 51: Eye Contact

"Men in General judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration." -Niccolo Machiavelli

"The eyes are the most powerful social signalers that we have and hence are sometimes called 'the windows of the soul' One of the key elements of what is called 'social skills training' is getting just the right amount of eye contact. Too little and we come across as shy and awkward; too much and we seem rude." -Glen Wilson

Many successful people have great natural eye contact. It is something that everyone should practice to become more naturally charismatic. Not enough eye contact and you won't build any trust. Too much eye contact and you'll come across too intense.That's why practicing makes perfect.

Here's how to do it:
  • Look everyone in the eyes long enough to see what their eye color is then look away. This will get you in the habit of making strong eye contact initially.
  • Match their level of eye contact. Look them in the eyes as long as they are looking you in the eyes. When they look away then you look away. Matching naturally builds rapport.
  • Your eyes convey emotions. Make sure they are open and relaxed, not tense and narrow.
  • As a general rule don't break eye contact first. The person who breaks eye contact first conveys a submissive subliminal message.
  • Use eye contact more when listening than speaking. Make sure when they are speaking that you are maintaining eye contact 75% of the time. This lets them know you really care about what they are saying.
Start practicing as soon as possible so you can build good eye contact skills. You can start on people walking down the street, cashiers, waitresses, etc. After a couple of weeks you'll notice a huge difference.