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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Eye Contact Matters
But I did get some great takeaway lessons from my time on the catwalk.
I remember being told that when I went down the catwalk I shouldn't be afraid to make eye contact. "You are in charge. They will look away."
And they did.
And they do.
People often forget how much of human communication is body language. Hunched shoulders, downcast eyes, a symbol of submission. Tight jaw and clenched hands mean anger. There are nuances. The way a person chooses to sit. If a person sits or stands depending on what other people in the room are doing. If a teacher stands in front of a desk or behind it. All these are silent communication.
Eye contact is a very dominant gesture. It's crucial to falling in love. People are superstitious about eye contact, they'll tell you eyes are windows to the soul. But for getting what you want, there's nothing better than eye contact. It tells the person not only that you are listening to what they say, but that you're interested, paying attention, and unafraid. If you use eye contact in negotiating you can see all sorts of tells that will help you out. If you're trying to control a room of people, eye contact puts you in a dominant position and allows you to cut off people who are talking out of turn (taking a position opposite what the rest of the room does helps too, if they're standing find a throne, if they're sitting, stand).
All of this works in the reverse too. If you want to blend in and be ignored, you change your body language to match the most people in the room. Not the dominant personality because dominant personalities tend to gravitate to one another (a reason why con artists like to come across as alphas), but the majority of people in a room are rarely dominant. The majority are usually nulls who are influenced by everything around them rather than influencing things around them.
Whether you're using this information to write a scene in your book, win the starring role in a play, or just get through another training meeting without killing someone, spend the rest of today observing body language. See what the silent language is telling you. Let me know if you find out anything fun.