Whether a salaried employee, independent or in transition you know the necessity of networking. “But what if I’m shy?” Let’s start with how to make direct eye contact smooth and easy even if you are shaking in your boots. Etiquette guidelines show making direct eye contact will let the person you’re speaking to know you are interested.

If you are shy and nervous about making direct eye contact, look in the triangular area between two iris and “3rd eye” (the area just above the bridge of the nose). As the viewer sees with two eyes working as one unit, they will not be able to distringuish exactly where you are looking.

Be careful with this trick. If you get lost gazing into their 3rd eye you may suddenly find them stepping away from you. Direct eye contact over six seconds will be preceived as strange, creepy or an act of flirtation. To avoid this, keep your attention on the conversation but look away on occasion to break the gaze. The third eye gaze is one of many tools to improve your business networking skill set, strenghten your soft skills and perhaps meet the magical person that opens a business door for you.

Clare Hefferren

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