Probably bigger than you imagine ... especially if you consider it is an extension of the impact that eye contact makes in one-on-one conversations.
I read a great little article on the Greatness Project blog where they said...
... That direct, deep look fosters a connection which creates great moments of creativity, collaboration, intimacy and a host of other positive behaviors. When I connect in this manner, or someone connects with me, the ability to create something positive is almost effortless because by the simple action of
looking someone in the eye, I acknowledge their personhood, uniqueness and contribution.
Wow, those are pretty strong words for a simple concept like "eye contact"... but when was the last time you really noticed it?
I was at a tradeshow (for Toastmasters, as a matter of fact) in Bridgeport, CT and noticed that the people who made eye contact during a conversation seemed to have a much better "connection" and seemed to be listening better than those that did not maintain eye contact.
(And, to be fair, I noticed when I was not maintaining eye contact ... so the gaps in connection could have been my fault too.)
How can you improve your "Eye Contact"?
This is what they said over at The Greatness Project blog...
I make sure I see the color of their eyes. If I don't know the color of their eyes at the end of the conversation, I know I have not looked at them.
Interesting concept.... care to try it the next time you are having a conversation with someone? How about when you are speaking to a small audience... like at a Toastmasters meeting?
Leave a comment below and let us know how it worked for you !