Effective in-person communications relies on regular and steady eye contact. If you want to improve your communication skills and enhance your interpersonal relationships, practice making and maintaining eye contact. I am not suggesting you stare at others. I am also not suggesting you make them uncomfortable by locking in on them like a Lockheed Martin Raptor locks onto a jet in a firefight. But making eye contact and sustaining it during a conversation invokes an intimacy that draws those in the conversation together and lays the foundation for a new relationship or builds upon an existing one. So how does one make and keep proper eye contact?
- Keep the other person the focus during the entire conversation. When talking to her, keep eye contact. When listening to her keep eye contact. Don’t stare but don’t regularly look away, down or at someone or something else.
- Avoid distractions. Keep your phone away and avoid meeting somewhere with televisions, or at least find a seat with your back to a television.
- Eye contact should be coupled with a soft expression or smile. An intense look with an intense stare has the opposite effect you’re trying to achieve.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How do you want her to be looking at you? Focusing on you? Emulate that.
Something as simple as eye contact can have a profound impact on relating to others. It’s all in the eyes. Connecting with others through their eyes can serve as a foundation to developing relationships that are deep, that are personal and that last.