It is only when you see 'eye to eye' with another person that a real basis for communication can be established. While some people can make us feel quite comfortable when they converse with us, others can make us feel ill-at-ease and some seem untrustworthy. This has to do primarily with the length of time that they look at us or hold our gaze as they speak. When a person is being dishonest or holding back information, his eyes meet ours less than one-third of the time. When a person's gaze meets yours for more than twothirds of the time, it can mean one of two things; first, he or she finds you very interesting or appealing, in which case the gaze will be associated with dilated pupils; secondly, he or she is hostile towards you and may be issuing a non-verbal challenge, in which case the pupils will become constricted. Argyle reported that he found that when person A likes person B, he will look at him a lot. This causes B to think that A likes him, so B will like A in return. In other words, to build a good rapport with another person, your gaze should meet his about 60 to 70 per cent of the time. This will also make him begin to like you. It is not surprising, therefore, that the nervous, timid person who meets your gaze less than one-third. of the time is rarely trusted.. In negotiation, dark tinted glasses should be avoided at all times as they make others feel that you are staring at them.
Like most body language and gestures, the length of time that one person gazes at another is culturally determined. Southern Europeans have a high frequency of gaze that may be offensive to others and the Japanese gaze at the neck rather than at the face when conversing. Always be sure to consider cultural circumstances before jumping to conclusions.
Not only is the length of the gaze significant; just as important is the geographical area of the person's face and body at which you direct your gaze, as this also affects the outcome of a negotiation. These signals are transmitted and received non-verbally and are accurately interpreted by the receiver.
It takes about thirty days of conscious practice before the following eye techniques can be effectively used to improve your communication skills.
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