You’re at a business meeting and suddenly their eyes drop. They aren’t avoiding you, they’re just checking their smartphones. It’s had an effect on our daily interactions- and according to the Wall Street Journal, the decline of eye contact is a growing problem.
Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Evernote, games, there are a million and one distractions on smartphones today that take our attention away from our present physical surroundings and into the virtual world. For the data crunchers among us, as of January 2013, there were 775,000 apps in the iPhone Store. That’s over half a million distractions in one tiny little device.
One survey found that adults make eye contact between 30-60% of the time in an average conversation. However, to create a sense of connection in a conversation, people should be making eye contact 60% of the time.
One barrier is multitasking. It is now almost culturally acceptable to answer the phone at dinner or send a quick text. In fact, smartphones have become permanent table accessories right next to the fork.
Those who don’t make eye contact may be missing out- nonverbal communication plays a key role in workplace communication. Eye contact is a great tool for influencing, listening and engaging with others. Looking at a coworker when speaking conveys respect and confidence. Prolonged eye contact during a debate shows you’re standing your ground. It also can affect your perceived status- people who are high-status tend to look longer at people they’re talking to, compared with others.
Withholding eye contact can have adverse effects. It can display carelessness or disrespect. The other person feels as if they are not important and it can lead to resentment.
At the The Rubin Group, our New York agents/brokers are trained specialists in all types of business insurance, both in New York and all across the nation. We have the expertise to understand your needs and can design a program that allows you to get the most for your Manhattan Business insurance dollar. Contact us today for more information about our Manhattan business insurance programs (877) 806-7239.