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Daily Leadership Thought #81 – Make Eye Contact and Smile

January 20, 2011

Free Woman in Gray Sweater Standing in the Garden Stock Photo

Many studies have illustrated the importance of making eye contact and smiling when communicating.   Oddly enough most people still struggle with these basic communication tools.   I encourage you to take one day to observe how people communicate.  It usually involves minimal eye contact.  Smiling not triggered by laughter is rare.  This is true even with parents and children once they get past a certain age.  In fact, many people avert their eyes and frown a lot more than they think.  This is sad when you consider that one on one conversation is the most important thing, we do every day.

I’ve written several times about the need that all of us have for personal validation and acknowledgement.  A straightforward way to do this is to look someone in the eye, listen to what they say and smile when it is appropriate.  Greeting someone with a smile always makes a world of difference.  I’m not advocating that you stare intently throughout the conversation (that will freak people out) but do try and lock your eyes with them occasionally and hold it for a few seconds.  A person’s eyes truly are the “window of their soul.”  Words are only ever a part of the conversation.  Think about the people in your life.  My guess is that you feel more connected and hold favorable views of the ones who make good eye contact and smile.