Eye contact is the single most important part of making a proper introduction. The eyes are the portals to the soul. There is very little as revealing as the first eye contact we make with any other living being, including dogs, small children, and potential clients. A smile attached to that first glance speaks volumes. We know in an instant how safe we feel, how self-confident and comfortable the other person is, and whether we want to form a mindful relationship with someone.

Many of us have been to the local animal shelter to adopt a cat or dog to become part of our family. Almost every time we reach a decision to take a pet home, it is because of the way they look into our eyes. The exact same dynamic plays out in the corporate boardroom or the crowded lunchroom. We want to connect with friendly people – people with whom we feel comfortable.

Making cheerful introductions including a smile and direct eye contact sets the stage for all future interactions. If we are shy and look away or at the ground, we are revealing a part of our personality to others. If we show confidence and kindness in our eyes, we show characteristics more likely to be helpful in establishing a relationship – business or otherwise.

Be sure to take the time to practice this critical component of making good eye contact during introductions if you want to have the etiquette advantage. In a short while, this action becomes a habit – one which will help ensure you Outclass the Competition!

This is part of an ongoing series on etiquette in the workplace. Read previous posts here.