The ayes have it, ok that means something else… but the eyes do have it.
We communicate so much through our eyes. We communicate, love, happiness, joy, sadness, compassion, weariness, deceit, hardness and fear with just a look. As you read those words you might have even slightly changed your eye expression as you read those soft to hard words.
Looking someone in the eye and communicating is visceral, human and connective.
There are cultures where extended eye contact is not appropriate but in the business world, especially western cultures, maintaining eye contact is expected and failure to do so could lose you the job, connection, or contract.
What if looking someone in the eyes makes you feel uncomfortable? Ok valid point, but that is what confidence is about. If you are shying away from looking someone in the eyes it could mean you are hiding something. Is that something a feeling of unworthiness, that they might judge you? Looking at someone is the peak of honesty.
Confidently look at the person especially when you shake hands, notice their eye color, that will give you the focus and connection that will make them feel seen by you. This all relates back to the smile and shake chapters. It is a wonderful dance of spirited charisma and confidence that can delight and elate. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it.
Your eyes, ok super cliché here, are the windows to your soul. What in the heck does that even mean? Why is it weird to talk to someone wearing sunglasses inside? You can’t see their eyes and that makes your lizard brain uncomfortable because you can’t see how they are relating. Truthfulness, honesty all lost behind the Ray-Ban’s. (Remember when that was Foster Grants?) Letting someone look into your eyes lets them see you emotionally at that moment. Eye contact is a very strong indicator of confidence and willingness to be vulnerable.
We do need to talk about timing with eye contact, too long and you’re staring, too short your hiding, too watery you’re crying. What is the right amount of time to keep eye contact? Studies say approximately 50-70% of the conversation should have eye contact. More than that makes you a creepy psychopath or a pick-up. This is a learned adjustment. Test it and find the right tempo and timing that works for you. All of the keys to confidence require a sensitive timing touch.
Eye Contact connects!