I often get asked about eye contact. One of the questions I’m asked is about when to have eye contact and when not to.
One of the critical moments to have eye contact is when you are trying to influence or advise. In other words when you want to make a point which you’d like your target to accept. We can evidence this by looking at what happens when we don’t have eye contact.
Eye contact training
In our professional business communication we do an exercise around this. The results are as consistent as they are profound. When another person is trying to persuade us without eye contact, it feels as though they are at least disingenuous and at most trying to mislead.
Eye contact is essential when trying to persuade. You don’t need to have eye contact all the time, in fact if we do it can be intimidating and even scary. No-one likes being starred at. So occasional eye contact is fine, but with the words of persuasion should come eye contact.