Non-verbal communication is an interpersonal skill that significantly affects your ability to form lasting relationships and succeed at work. A huge part of this is eye contact, which can drastically change the way another person sees you. Too much or too little can adversely impact the conversations you have with others.
Why is eye contact so crucial for social communication?
Well, as soft skills-focused tafe courses show us, eye contact is necessary to show attentiveness, active listening and acknowledgement of any points the other person is trying to make. You shouldn’t stare or avoid eye contact instead, hit that sweet spot that equates to around 50% of the time.
How can you get better at making eye contact?
It is a subtle skill that takes practice but can be worked on. Here we help you in that regard with career counselling advice on regulating the amount of eye contact you make. So, if you’ve got a pad and pen ready, let’s dive in!
- Start as You Mean to Go On - When starting a conversation, it’s vital that you make eye contact straight away at the handshake stage. This will set the tone for the discussion and show you to be a confident and outgoing professional - even if that’s not how you feel inside.
- Employ the 70/50 Rule - Here’s a good rule of thumb to use to guide you when honing your eye contact interpersonal skills. Make eye contact 50% of the time when speaking and 70% when the other person is speaking, as this shows confidence and interest.
- Don’t Linger More Than 5 Seconds - To avoid staring, try not to let your eye contact linger for longer than 5 seconds. Looking for 4-5 seconds will exhibit all the right signs, whereas more can make you look a little too intense for one person to bear.
- Look Away Slowly, Without Darting - How you look away when breaking eye contact matters, as otherwise, it will change the person’s perception of you. Look away too quickly, and you’ll look nervous, and if you look down, you might appear lacking in confidence. Instead, you should attempt to do it slowly, naturally and from side to side.
- Practice Makes Perfect - If you’re still working on your interpersonal skills, practising in relaxing situations, like with friends, can be really helpful. You could also try looking at the eyebrow area if you find looking into the eyes of someone a bit too intense. Try it with a friend now, and you’ll see that they’ll find it difficult to tell you’re not looking at them directly.
Improve Your Interpersonal Skills With Video-Based Courses
It might seem like eye contact is a minor aspect, but it can have a massive bearing on how you’re able to communicate with those around you. The good news for anyone wanting to improve their interpersonal skills is that video-based CPD-accredited short courses online from OCA make the job much easier.
Our professional training is immersive and mentally stimulating and covers over 20 different sectors. For a closer look at what it’s like to learn with OCA, why not check out our student study demo or visit us at www.onlinecoursesaustralia.edu.au. Our training comes with one-to-one mentoring support 7 days a week, so you’re never alone!
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to get in touch with us directly, call us on 1300 611 404 or drop us an email at email@example.com.