Peace starts by creating a connection between two people. The best way to build an instant connection with someone is through eye contact and a smile. Eye contact and a smile lead into a relaxed and friendly conversation.
Why does peace start with the eye contact?
Because… most assailants must dehumanize the victim (make them less than human) before the violent interaction occurs. The act of eye contact automatically affirms the other person’s value – making them feel like they are talking to an old friend.
Do you have trouble establishing the appropriate level of eye contact?
Here a simple drill to practice…
I love little drills that you can practice throughout the course your day – requiring no extra time - but you get positive benefit out of them. It's kind of like an ongoing training. When you greet someone, just make a mental note of the color of their eyes. It’s that simple and tremendously effective. Recognizing their eye color gives the exact appropriate amount of eye contact – about two to three seconds.
This technique works in one-on-one conversations and with groups. I use it when I am teaching classes – making eye contact with every student in class. That little eye contact with each of my students during class makes them feel that I am paying attention to them. They also seem to listen better because it makes you more engaging.
At first, you will find yourself thinking the colors of their eyes - blue, brown, hazel, etc. but in time, I will become more natural. Try it for a week and see how it goes...
Do you have any similar little drills that you use? Please place them in the comments.