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Look at Me When You’re Talking to Me

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TecheyecontactIs technology killing eye contact?

Has our dependence on technology gone too far? And is it taking away our ability to talk to each other, to connect, or even look each other in the eye?

It’s easy to get sucked into the digital universe. But our relationships are what really matter, and if you’re too busy staring at a screen to look at the person in front of you, that’s a problem—especially for salespeople, whose careers depend on the ability to build and maintain relationships with clients and referral sources.

The Lost Art of Eye Contact

When we’re constantly checking our phones to make sure we’re not missing something “out there,” we’re actually missing out on opportunities to connect with the people right in front of us.

In average conversations, adults make eye contact between 30 and 60 percent of the time, according to communications-analytics company Quantified Impressions. But the same study shows that people should be making eye contact 60 to 70 percent of the time to create a sense of emotional connection.

Bring Back Balance

I’m sure you’ve been there—talking to someone who can’t tear his or eyes off a screen long enough to look at you, an actual human being. It’s insulting, frustrating, and disrespectful. And it’s a trend that’s getting out of hand—at work and at home. In the Huffington Post blog, “How Technology Is Killing Eye Contact,” author Carolyn Gregoire writes:

Pat Christen had an alarming wake-up call one day about the toll that technology was taking on her life—and her family.

“I realized several years ago that I had stopped looking in my children’s eyes,” the HopeLab President and CEO said at a Huffington Post panel at Ad Week on Tuesday. “And it was shocking to me.”

For more on the importance of eye contact, read the rest of this article. And to learn more about how technology can help (and hinder) your sales success, get your copy of my new book, Pick Up the Damn Phone!: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal­—now available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

Comment Here

Share a story of a time when someone—a co-worker, loved one, business associate, or even stranger—ignored you and instead stared at a screen. How did that make you feel? And are you guilty of doing the same thing to others?

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