By Alicia Cuello

Most people are seeking connection, both personally and professionally.  As a species, not only do we crave connection, we also want to know if we can trust one another.  Unfortunately, most of us are at a loss as to how to accomplish either one.  I have a suggestion:

Eye contact

Its such a simple gesture, yet its one of the easiest ways to connect while also determining one’s trustworthiness. There’s an old saying, “The eyes are the windows to the soul,”  and I have to agree.  When we look into another person’s eyes we can determine so many things including….

Do we have a connection….and can I trust you?

Learning to give eye contact not only creates an atmosphere of connection, it also creates trust.  Unfortunately, we live in a culture that’s not good at giving or receiving eye contact.  And I’d like to help correct that, so here are a few tips on how to give good eye contact:

  1. Where to look: Look in the inverted triangle area of the face which is the area that includes the eyes and the tip of the nose.  If you need a visual, envision drawing a straight line from the outer edge of the left eyebrow to the far end of the right eyebrow.  Next, draw two 45% lines from the edges of the straight line to the tip of the nose.  Walla  –  an upside down triangle.  
  2. Eye color: After your comfortable looking in the triangle area, work up to being able to look into the other person’s eyes long enough to determine their color; then look away.  When you look away, be sure to look to the left or look to the right.  This type of breakaway is considered neutral.  Whereas looking down is a viewed as lacking in confidence.
  3. How long:  Look at the other person for about 2-3 seconds.  Any longer can make the other person uncomfortable or come across as a challenge.  However, once you connect with the person and feel more comfortable, feel free to give longer eye contact.    

OK, now I have a challenge for my readers.  For the next week, make eye contact with at least three people on the street, in the gym, or at the office… you get the picture.  And SMILE.  Then see what happens. Some people will look away, some won’t look at you, but others will smile back.  It’s an easy way to connect with people and also brighten their day.    

Please let me know what happens….I welcome the feedback.

About Alicia

20 years ago I had no idea other people didn’t recognize and interpret body language the way I did. It was just something I picked up on naturally.
I am a national conference speaker, facilitator, and coach, specializing in non-verbal communication. I received my Master of Science in Human Resources from the University of Houston.
My passion is helping others become influential so that they can reach their career and business goals.

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