A colleague gave me a compliment this week at work saying that what she really loves about me is the way that I look into her eyes when I speak to her while including another colleague. What a pleasant compliment. She said that is is refreshing and rare.
I always struggled with looking into people’s eyes and it may have been an insecurity of mine. In the process of making an effort to learn how to understand and consider people around me, I had to learn this and teach this to myself. I will look at you when I speak to you and attend my full focus towards you.
Then I continued to explain that there is a more interesting human behaviour that I’ve been trying to practice. The gesture of using hand signals from right to left to consider and acknowledge the person you are in a conversation with. Meaning the person you are talking to will most likely read your hand signals from left to right as they read a book, traffic or whatever else in life. Change the perspective from your side from right to left which makes the conversation for the other person easy and comfortable.
It may seem or feel strange at first when you start doing it but you will soon start to realize how much more people will engage with you if they can read your gestures from their own view instead of yours.
So the past is right and the future is left. Try it out, say something that happened in the past while putting your right hand out and holding it out to the right-hand side. Talk in a chronological way to yourself, telling a story as it happened, moving your hand from right to center. Then start using your left hand to point to the future or present.
Something small but effective that I’ve been trying out in conversations and it really does seem to work. Yet the eye contact and reading of lips as people speak will make them feel like you are truly interested and focused.