Business Is About Making (Or Not Making) Eye Contact; An essay from Todd Schnick

Success in business (and life) starts with making eye contact.

Have you ever dined in a restaurant, or shopped in a boutique store, and when you really needed help, the staff moved all around you and somehow never made eye contact with you? I trust you have experienced this. You remember the frustration.

You’ll ask “Why won’t they look at me?”

But you do it as well.

Ever notice when someone on a street corner is asking for your help, you always KNOW how to avoid making eye contact? I mean, honestly, I get why you avoid making eye contact here, but I point out this scenario to remind you THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO AVOID MAKING EYE CONTACT WHEN YOU WANT TO.

Anyways, I am not just talking about working in a restaurant or a retail store. And to be honest, I am not even talking about making eye contact when sitting across a table visiting with a customer or sales prospect.

I am talking about paying attention…sincerely paying attention.

And it’s about listening…active listening.

We are so easily distracted these days. And we are too busy. So, what happens here is we are running in a million different directions, rather than slowing down, putting the iPhone down, concentrating, actively listening, and making eye contact.

Making eye contact is also about looking for opportunities to serve others. In that restaurant, it is glancing over at your table to see if any of your customers need anything. It’s being proactive.

If they are knee deep in conversation and their wine glasses are full, you’re good. But LOOK FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE.

Yes, this can only be done making eye contact, observing (paying attention), and listening.

Mindset plays a critical role here. If you are simply earning a paycheck, you are probably less likely to make eye contact.

But if you sincerely care about your work, looking to create a positive experience, and/or want more meaning and impact as a result of your work, you will proactively make eye contact.

It’s that simple.

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