What makes a leader stand out from others? How can you be more memorable? How can you increase your influence?
Writer Michael Ellsberg tells a story about an encounter with Bill Clinton:
“I have a friend who has always despised Bill Clinton,” a person at a cocktail party told me during the time I was writing my book about eye contact. “Yet, somehow my friend found himself at a function that Bill Clinton was attending. And, within the swirl of the crowd, he was introduced to Clinton.”
“In that moment, face-to-face, all of my friend’s personal animosity towards Clinton disappeared, in one instant,” my new acquaintance at the party continued. “As they were shaking hands, Clinton made eye contact with my friend in a way so powerful and intimate, my friend felt as though the two of them were the only people in the room.”
You may be thinking – so what? Bill Clinton’s charisma is legendary – and I’m just not him. So what?
Hurias and Associates recently surveyed CEOs to find out what they are looking for in leaders. One of the key things that CEOs say they are looking for in leaders is a willingness to “Look people in the eye.”
Is it really that simple? Look people in the eye?
I think that eye contact makes a big difference – and so do these CEOs. So what should you do?
- Be intentional about really listening to what others are saying – no looking at email or phone, and
- Making that personal connection with eye contact.
One Final Thought:
The next time you’re in a meeting with your boss, make a point to be focused on what he or she is saying, and then look them in the eye as you speak. Afterward, email me and tell me how it went! tom@BrightHillGroup.com
We’ve been enjoying the cooler weather. This week the kids spent some time on a blustery fall day playing at the playground. I suspect that all too soon we will be breaking out the heavier jackets.