I conducted an advanced training with a group of 15 of my top advisors. They all had incomes of between $300,000 to $700,000… so they were certainly no slouches. One of the exercises we did was to videotape them conducting a meeting and then evaluate them on eye contact.
They all believed they had terrific eye contact… but the videotape doesn’t lie. They had very, very little, REAL eye contact. They didn’t believe it until they reviewed the tapes for themselves.
Why is this so important?
Researchers have shown that smiling and looking into someone’s eyes is unbelievably compelling. The science journal, Proceedings of the Royal Academy reported the following study:
- 1,000 volunteers were asked to rate a series of computer generated faces. Identical pairs of faces were doctored so that one face stared directly at the viewer, while the other gazed slightly to the left or right.
- The faces that looked directly at the viewer were consistently rated higher in likability and trust.
Does this work in real life? I followed up with 5 of the 15 advisors that I had done the videotape exercise with and they said that it was amazing the difference it made… not in their practice… but in their lives! They said it was uncomfortable at first, but after a day or so it was one of the most empowering… and beneficial changes they had ever made to their behavior!
So, start looking them in the eye! J