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Look me in the eye

By on February 24, 2015
Picture courtesy of graur codrin and freedigitalphotos.net

One of the most powerful tools you have as a hypnotist is not your training, or your experience, it’s actually your eyes and your ability to make appropriate eye contact. I simply can’t stress this enough, eye contact sends a powerful unconscious communication to your client. Too little and you lose the connection, too much at the wrong time and you may break rapport.

Having said that, as a hypnotist, indeed as anyone, it is better to err on the side of too much eye contact than too little, as this old research from 1986 (below) shows. Subjects were shown videos of a person talking to an interviewer. The main variable was the length of eye contact the individual made with the interviewer. Subjects were then asked for their impression of the individual.

The results of the study showed that when the individual made greater eye contact with the interviewer, they were judged as being both more powerful, and also more intelligent. The results were the same irregardless of the gender of the individual making (or not making) eye contact, and the subject observing the interaction.

So the lesson, at least int he western world, is more eye contact is better.

Effects of Duration of Eye Contact on Judgments of Personality Characteristics

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