Positive Path Recommended Reading

Your Face Says More Than Just Words
By Harriet Meyerson

Entertainers and professional speakers know that the way to connect with their audiences is through eye contact and facial expression. In your personal and business life you can be more dynamic with facial and eye expression.

WHEN YOUR EYES MEET – YOU BEGIN TO COMMUNICATE

"One of the most obvious aspects of behavior when talking to another person is where you look. If you look directly at the person as you speak, it helps to communicate your sincerity and to increase the directness of your message," state Robert Alberti and Michael Emmons, in the seventh edition of their best selling book "Your Perfect Right, A Guide to Assertive Living.”

You may have experienced the frustration of talking to someone who was reading the newspaper, and although he or she may have been able to repeat every word you said, you did not feel heard. You may have felt slighted when you were talking to someone at a school function that seemed to be scanning the room looking for someone else. When you make an effort to look directly at the people you are talking to, you show them respect, make them feel important, and you create a more positive relationship with co-workers, teachers and students.

What’s even more important, avoiding eye contact can make you seem sneaky, guilty, bashful, or frightened. The common expression, “He couldn’t look me in the eye,” is often used to describe the guilt of another person.

While using eye contact be careful not to stare, squint or blink your eyes rapidly. It’s more natural to look away from time to time in a relaxed comfortable manner.

YOUR FACE REVEALS SINCERITY

“Ever see someone trying to express anger while smiling? It just doesn't come across. Effective assertions require an expression that agrees with the message,” say Alberti and Emmons. If you are sending mixed messages, others will believe your facial expression rather than the words you say. A forced smile will come across as insincere. Tension can also be seen in your face with a wrinkling forehead or a pursed or tight-lipped mouth. Rolling the eyes and disapproving looks can have powerful negative effects on communication.

If you have to say something negative, take the time to sit down and have a meaningful discussion with the other person, and your body language will naturally become more congruent with your message.

On the positive side, if you are excited about something, don’t be afraid to show it. When your face lights up, the energy you create is contagious and spreads sunshine to others.

The bottom line is to pay attention to your eye contact and facial expressions if you want others to pay attention to you.

About the author: Harriet Meyerson, president of The Confidence Center, works with companies that want confident, loyal, and happy employees, and with individuals who want the confidence they need for success. Harriet is a member of the National Speakers Association and the author of Fire Up Your Staff on a Shoestring Budget.

Visit the Confidence Center web site for - Free employee morale newsletter. Free articles on employee success and personal confidence. Free articles for your company or association newsletters. Seminar, and telephone coaching information. Free daily fun stuff. http://www.ConfidenceCenter.com 
E-mail: Harriet@ConfidenceCenter.com


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