Eye Contact is a Sign of Confidence from Your Boss

Adults make eye contact between 30% and 60% of the time in an average conversation, but people should be making eye contact 60% to 70% of the time to create a sense of emotional connection.

What's the Big Idea?


How are you performing at work? Does your boss think you are doing a good job? How are you to know?

Eye contact is a signal of your status, according to a growing body of research. If you are a rising star, chances are you will receive more visual attention from your boss. However, if his or her eyes aren't finding yours in a meeting, that might be a sign of your diminished status. 

This behavior is most prominently expressed by male bosses, according to a study in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior from 2010. 

What's the Significance?

According to the Wall Street Journal's Work & Family column, many people are unaware of the importance of eye contact in conveying a message. To make matters worse, we have all sorts of devices to distract us, leading to this disturbing pattern:

Adults make eye contact between 30% and 60% of the time in an average conversation, says the communications-analytics company Quantified Impressions. But the Austin, Texas, company says people should be making eye contact 60% to 70% of the time to create a sense of emotional connection, according to its analysis of 3,000 people speaking to individuals and groups.

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