"Communication Skills: The Importance of Eye Contact"
An old Yiddish proverb says, "The eyes are the mirror of the soul", and they are. Eyes can captivate an audience and express what words may not be able to deliver. A word is a word, but a word expressed upon the sincerity of the eyes will allow the words spoken to reach the minds of those they are spoken to. This is why eye contact is important.
Eye contact is a non-verbal ability to communicate, and it often equals to our ability to verbally express a thought. Interestingly, we are least aware of our non-verbal communication skills like body language and especially eye contact, yet these non-verbal skills often speak louder than our words.
When you maintain eye contact, you present an air of confidence in yourself and what you are communicating. People who are listening to what you are saying will take you more seriously, and will take what you say as important. If you lose eye contact or focus on everything else but the person you are speaking to, you may not be taken seriously and the truth in your points may be lost.
Failing to maintain eye contact during a conversation can send mixed signals to the person you are speaking with. It is often construed as a tell-tale-sign that you might not be forthcoming or truthful in what you are saying-liars tend to not keep eye contact. If the lack of eye contact is not construed as a lie the person may be trying to conceal, it is often perceived as lack of interest or an indication of a short attention span.
Eye contact can relay our inner most intimate thoughts and desires. It can let the person we are speaking with know our emotional connection and interest in what we are conversing about. A longing stare or the ability to smile with your eyes like a super model can often deliver the subtle message of interest. On the flip side, anger, disgust, and dissatisfaction can also be easily delivered with through our eye contact.
The way we use our eye contact can also enhance an intimidating conversation, making the message of the words more resounding. We have often heard stories that recount horrific circumstances where the person describes their attacker or intimidator as having pure evil in their eyes. Many criminals have been described as having empty and blank stares, which is said to indicate their lack of remorse or lack of understanding of what they took part in.
We are equipped with a powerful tool in eye contact. It can be used in positive ways to effectively express confidence, intellect, honesty, love and desire, friendship, compassion and sympathy, and more. While negatively, eye contact can reflect lies, anger, lack of remorse, and a callous non-genuine attitude. Our eyes can enhance a conversation and deliver our words more effectively.