I have asked hundreds of leaders the question….”Who is the best listener you know and what are they doing to be the best listener?” In the culture of North America, the number one response is EYE CONTACT. My best listener looks at me when they listen.
In a May 28, 2013 article in The Wall Street Journal, it was noted “eye contact is declining in both work and social settings, and it’s having a negative effect on our sense of emotional connection ability to influence or impress others”.
The simple fact is that people want eye contact. It’s a direct form of emotional connection, human to human. It’s been estimated that the average gaze should last between 7 – 10 seconds.
One study of 3,000 people found that adults make eye contact between 30% and 60% of the time when it actually takes 60 – 70% of the time to make the connection.
When listening with others, avoid the following:
- Faking it! Others can sense it when you are doing this.
- Drifting! Where the eyes go, the focus follows.
- Staring! If you want to make someone uncomfortable, stare at them.
- Table Talking! The listener is constantly looking down when they speak and give the impression that they lack confidence.
PLANT A LISTENING SEED TODAY: Give everyone you listen to the eye contact that they want and deserve. LISTENING PAYS!