The past few weeks have been heavy networking days for me. I've shaken dozens of hands and looked in twice as many eyes. And of course, I've been reflecting on human connection and the language of the powerful.
When was the last time you talked with someone truly powerful? What are some of the characteristics you recall from the interaction?
From my observation the higher ranking a person is, the more likely they are to have a tight handshake, stand with a wide stance, and use power eye-contact.
Of those characteristics, the eye-contact is the fiercest trait. I can guarantee that the most powerful person in the room will always win in a staring competition.
Eye contact is such a vulnerable thing. It's as if through eye contact, others can see within us and find out how powerful (or not) we really are.
If you want to run with the power players, it's important to practice the art of eye contact in addition to the traditional handshake grip and standing with power. If you can't look a person in the eye without looking away frequently, you might be overlooked.