Learning how to make strong eye contact is one of the most important skills you can develop for your professional life. Humans are social animals, and we can tell a lot about how a person is feeling from just their gaze. Scientists believe that this is due to something called the “cooperative eye hypothesis,” where early humans were able to nonverbally communicate much more effectively than other primates. This nonverbal communication encouraged cooperation and coordination, and allowed early humans to accomplish greater tasks together.
The effects of eye contact are still relevant today, and are reflected in the way we view people based on their level of eye contact. People who are able to make strong eye contact with others are viewed as dominant, capable, and friendly, whereas those who are not able to meet the gazes of others come off as weak, scared, and submissive. Because of this, it is important to develop confident eye contact skills in the workplace in order to make a good impression on coworkers and supervisors alike. This is especially true for women, who are socially conditioned to make less eye contact than men.
Fortunately, eye contact is a skill that can be improved upon with a little practice. From Rory, take a look at the guide below for tips and tricks for developing your eye contact skills, along with advice for how to make eye contact in tricky situations.