It's All In The Eyes
Let’s wrap up this discussion on proper introductions by looking at one of the best ways to start creating more connections. It is also one of the hardest things for people to do. I’m talking about making great eye contact with others when you introduce yourself.
It's amazing how many communication skills books and courses talk about the myth that 'good' eye contact means gazing fixedly into the other person's eyes. For a few people, this will work well. However, many people are likely to find it uncomfortable to the point that they begin to wonder if you are trying to hypnotize them or ask them for a date, or both.
If you meet many people in your daily life, it's a good idea to think about how you make eye contact - it is, after all, one of the first things people use to form an impression of you! If you spend some time observing people, you will soon recognize that there are many different eye contact styles:
(1) The Fixed Stare Style: Their eyes never leave you and practically bore through you. Occasionally, this style is used as a power trick to intimidate or to give the impression that people is more confident than they really are. This has been used by politicians who have been thoroughly coached in how to appear a lot more trustworthy than they often turn out to be!
(2) The Darting Glance Style: They do look at you – but with very brief glances. They tend to look at you only when your gaze is averted. This style can give the impression of either low self confidence or lack of trustworthiness, so if it happens to be your natural style, you may wish to remedy the situation rather than transmit such a non-verbal message.
(3) The No-Eye-Contact style: Their eyes rarely, if ever, meet yours. They use peripheral vision to watch you. This style is much favored by country dwellers whose lifestyle has not included many opportunities for gazing into the eyes of other humans.
(4) The Turn-And-Turn-About Style: This is the most common style. They look quite steadily at you while you are speaking. However, if you appear to find this uncomfortable, they will look away occasionally to avoid creating tension.
When you understand how important eye contact can be when meeting and connecting with others, you'll start remembering to do it more often.