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Communication is crucial. It doesn’t matter if it pertains to a large company, a nonprofit organization, or friends and family – you will be expected to communicate. The dawn of social media has given us countless opportunities to increase our communication abilities. Has it helped our ability to communicate face-to-face?

No, I am not talking about Skype. What happens when you are sitting across the table from someone? What impression are you giving while speaking with a potential client or donor? What happens when you are conversing with your spouse or children?

I can still remember hearing my mother saying the strong, but simple word – “EYES.” My mother constantly reminded my siblings and me the importance of looking a person in the eyes during a conversation. It didn’t matter if the conversation was with my parents, the kid on my baseball team, or a prominent adult. Direct eye contact was expected.

When you look a person in the eyes, you are communicating respect and interest. Who doesn’t want to experience that? It feels terrible when you share your thoughts, hopes, or concerns with someone else, and it is obvious that they are not listening. Is it possible that your lack of eye contact is causing someone else that very feeling?

I know we are busy people. The clock’s hands keep moving. A new email just landed in your inbox. An interesting figure just entered the restaurant. Our eyes quickly stray, taking with them our attention.

Remember – “EYES.”

We can’t afford NOT to make our face-to-face interactions count.