21 Dec

Eye Lingo: The Unspoken Language of Trust

One of the main ways we communicate non-verbally is through
our eye contact. It’s important to remember – whether we are in the midst of a
business discussion or are meeting new acquaintances – that good eye contact is
crucial. It’s one of those facets of your professional image that helps people
connect with you. As they say “your eyes are the windows to your soul.” For
business professionals today who are steadfast in trying to grow their
businesses or take their careers to the next level, here are some tips I share
with the executive clients I coach:

You should maintain eye contact with people with
whom you are communicating to send a message that that you are genuinely
interested in getting to know them or listening to their point of view.

When you’re in a conversation or interviewing
someone and their eyes dance around the room instead of focusing on you it
creates an awkward feeling and makes you wonder what are they thinking about.
The best thing to do if this happens is to continue to maintain eye contact in
the hope that they will rejoin you with attention.

If you are in a conversation for a long period
of time with the same person, you want to maintain eye contact around 70% of
the time. While looking at their face you can shift your gaze in the triangle
around their eyes and nose so it doesn’t appear as though you are just staring
at them.

Great eye contact sends a very powerful and positive
first impression. It tells the other person you are confident, engaged,
interested in having a conversation with them, and it also conveys the sense
that you are trustworthy. With the recent downfall of major organizations in
our economy business prospects don’t know who to trust anymore. But with great
eye contact body language you are saying to the other person that they can
trust you to deliver on your business commitments.

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Sarah Hathorn
is a professional image consultant, certified personal brand strategist,
speaker, and author.

Her company,
Illustra Image Consulting, works with high-achieving future leaders and large
businesses by enhancing their corporate and personal brand image to take their
businesses and careers to the next level.

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Copyright 2009,
Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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