A man talking loudly on his phone in a restaurant; a sulky teenager hunched over their phone checking Facebook; a frantic business associate checking emails while walking down the hall to get coffee; these scenarios used to be taboo, rude even. Now, they’re commonplace across all ages and demographics. Smartphones have changed our lives- but what are the hidden costs?
Analytics company, Quantified Impressions found that adults make eye contact an average of 30-60% of the time. However, for making a connection, 60-70% is ideal for eye contact.
In business, how you communicate matters. But oftentimes, more emphasis is placed on the words we say rather than how they are said. In truth, what makes a competent speaker is both nonverbal and verbal communication skills. And, one of the top ones is eye contact.
Eye contact conveys status, confidence and respect, and using it can be a tool for engaging and influencing others. Looking at a colleague when speaking conveys confidence. Prolonged eye contact in a debate can show you’re standing your ground. What’s more, people who are high-status tend to look longer at people they’re talking to, compared with others. Inversely, people who avoid eye contact or don’t hold it are viewed as untrustworthy or insecure. Employees get the message they are not important and can resent the lack of attention.
In general, holding eye contact is best for 7-10 seconds at a time. For group settings, hold it for 3-5 seconds. Careful to ease up every now and then- too much eye contact can seem overbearing and authoritative or inauthentic.
At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we’ll develop creative, unique solutions that are in step with an ever-changing and challenging economic landscape that affect your Wallingford business, insurance and risk management strategy, and profitability. Give us a call at 203.265.0996 for more information on our Wallingford Business Insurance programs.