The Art of Connecting

Last night, I happened upon a Mr. Shmooze bartender. Actually, it was a Ms. Shmooze bartender. Here is what we can learn from her.
You have probably read somewhere along the way that when people meet Bill Clinton at a party or along a rope line, they often say, “He made me feel like I was the only person in the room.”  Well, this lady (whose name was Lisa) had the same impact.
So I decided to see if I could figure out why, and here is what I found.
Whether talking to me or the other patrons, this very young lady (I point that out because I was surprised at her poise at such a young age), would stop whatever else she was doing, pause right in front of one of us, and look straight into our eyes . . . and this is key . . . she held that look for several seconds longer than we are used to.
She was not flirting or being frivolous, she just really locked in, and when she asked any of us a question, she looked at us and kept her eyes locked until we answered . . . none of the usual flyby questions on the way to the next customer.
I felt her do this with me several times, and then I watched her walk down the bar and do it again and again with the other customers, all whom were drawn into her sincere focus and interest. She really had us all engaged.
I am sure this came naturally to Lisa and her authenticity added power to her charisma, but holding eye contact is always a good idea and worth thinking about and improving.  
Let’s face it, we have all talked to someone at a party who is looking over our shoulder to see who else is there . . . the ultimate turn off . . . so when someone really pays attention to us, even for a few moments, it is a positive and even memorable experience, particularly in this age of cellphonitis. (Don’t get me started on that one).

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