Archive for March, 2009

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Art of Eye Contact

March 8, 2009

Eye contact (or lack thereof) provides a great deal of information about your demeanor and sends strong signals to your audience.  Professionals rarely take a moment to consider their level of eye contact and the message they may be sending.

You’ve likely heard that eyes are the windows to the soul.   One’s eyes are the first things people often  notice when meeting one another.  The amount of eye contact used when conversing sends a strong signal to others about you self-confidence.  Too much eye contact can be seen as very aggressive, while too little eye contact is often viewed as as being shy, reserved or even worse – disinterested.  Eye contact is critical to master for effective communication and networking.

Maintaining consistent eye contact by looking someone in the eyes during a conversation sends a subconcious signal that you are honest and interested in the other person.  Being able to look someone in the eyes and maintain eye contact  presents oneself as confident. Your audience will take you more seriously and view what you have to say as of importance. Eye contact lets people know our emotional connection and level of interest in the conversion.

Eye contact is the most important form of non-verbal communication and will often illustrate the attitudes one person may have towards another. For example, looking away while speaking implies weakness or insincerity. Maintaining eye contact when your head is slightly raised portrays superiority and staring is just plain scary.  Most people avoid eye contact because of fear or pressure, when in reality maintaining eye contact actually reduce fear and anxiety by drawing your audience closer. Making good eye contact reflects self confidence and provides direction, authority and meaning to your conversation or message.

Eye Contact Exercise:

For one day, memorize the eye color of everyone whom you engage in a conversation.  This will force you to look them in the eyes enough to make note of their eye color.   That all it takes.. Practicing this simple exercise will build self-confidence, reduce conversational stress and improve your communication.

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Facebook is REALLY for Older People

March 8, 2009

Back in the day, when Myspace was cool I had my online profile.  After too many issues with people being  jealous, angry or hurt that because they were not in my top 8 friends – I shut it down!  Vowing never to resurrect that virtual world.

I must admit that I recently ate my words and glad to be back in the game.  At the end of last year, I created a Facebook profile. In my defense, I only did so in order to manage our company’s Facebook group.  I started getting invites from my family members, my friends and people from college, from Highschool and others whom I had lost touch with over the years.  It was exciting and enjoyable to catch up and I truly feel blessed to have many of these people back in my life.

Facebook bar none is one of the most powerful re-connection tools that exists.  The older you are, the more compelling the value of Facebook.  The older you are  the more people you have lost touch with as opposed to kids who aren’t even old enough to forget someone’s name.   (Caveat: My grandfather who is 96 and outlived most of all his contemporaries, likely would not have a large pool of re-connections)

Your friends from school, from your hometown, former colleagues, relatives you don’t see/hear from much.  Imagine the possibilities of being able to re-kindle old relationships and catch up on people’s lives simply by logging in.  Facebook will even suggest people you may know, based on those you already do.  Others will find you.  No “Its too much work” excuses are allowed.

Many of you are saying “Great I’ve re-connected, so what?”  Here the opportunity:  All these people that you now are re-connected with can possibly help you. I presume some of them even like you.  Looking for a job?  Trying to make new business contacts?  Need to get acclimated in a new city?  There is nothing wrong with asking for help.  Telling people where you are in your life and asking for help is part of being human.  Most people truly treasure helping others because of the way helping makes them feel and many others believe in the karma that help will come back around.  Lest we not forget that all of us should Pay it Forward.

I get excited at the thought of all the people my dad has lost touch with in his life and where some of them might be now and what they are doing.  I am going to make my dad one of the most re-connected people on Facebook… he just doesn’t know it yet.  SHHHH

Read this article in the Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1879169,00.html