We've all heard the adage, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Have two people look at the same painting and both will probably have vastly different impressions of what they see. The same applies to the way we observe people. To one person someone may look rather average, but to another that person could be absolutely stunning. It's an amazing phenomenon. Sometimes the difference is so dramatic we find ourselves totally befuddled. You might hear someone utter, "I don't know what he was looking at, but I didn't see the same thing." Barbra Streisand is a good example of what I'm talking about. I've heard some people say they think she's ugly while others rave about her beauty. The fact that we all have such divergent tastes is what makes us such an interesting species.
But I want to get back to the eyes. The first time you meet someone, the eyes are where the first contact is made. A handshake might follow, but the eyes are the most important part in a first encounter. If you're selling something, good eye contact is critical. I'm not talking about staring, just confident eye contact that makes the client feel like the most important person in the room. Some people have this ability and some don't. Most successful salespeople know the importance of solid eye contact. Not only does it show courtesy to the other person but it's also a way of taking control of a situation. Think about someone trying to sell you something, and as the person tells his story he keeps looking everywhere but at you. It would probably give you the impression the salesperson really wasn't sincere about his sales pitch. Eye contact is essential to quality selling. It's that simple.
Humor, intimacy and respect also are conveyed through the eyes. Groucho Marx was a master with the way he'd raise his eyebrows several times to emphasize a point, and people would immediately break out in laughter. And you know what it's like when two people are in love. They don't seem to have an interest in anything else but looking at each other with love and affection. No words need to be spoken. The eyes say it all.
Sometimes it's a wink, in a flirting way. I think most of us have done it at one time or another. Maybe it's a wink across a room at someone you think is pretty special. If you're lucky there might even be a wink in return. My dad used to wink at my mom all the time. It always gave me great pleasure to see the love and intimacy between them. From time to time my dad would give me a wink, too, which made me feel like a million bucks. An innocent wink, in the appropriate situation, can make a person feel special. Maybe it's the boss giving you a wink in a meeting that conveys acknowledgement of a job well done. Or someone kids a colleague about something and gives you a wink so you understand a joke is being played on that person.
A wink is such a simple thing, but it can have a powerful effect. That's why I'm a big proponent of it. That little gesture can show love, affection, respect and humor all at once without anything verbal. A wink here and there can make everybody feel good. For that reason alone it's worth a try.
So keep your eyes open. If the circumstances are right, try a wink once in a while. Everybody wins.
The eyes have it,
Charles S. Lauer