Posted by danosky | Posted in The Philanthropy Therapist | Posted on 07-04-2011
I learned a new phrase this past week – “eye focus.” Now we all know about the concept and importance of making eye contact. Eye focus, however, takes that concept to the next level. I really like that.
How I happened to learn about eye focus was because of the happy coincidence of sitting next to the keynote speaker at a conference I recently attended, Lynne Howell Wiklander, of ECG, Inc. Lynne specializes in communication strategies, presentation skills, content development and personal coaching. She shared with me the concept of eye focus.
The reason the term eye focus resonated is that it speaks to the need of developing a sincere connection with people and not the perfunctory eye contact we have all learned how to do – or for that matter the obligatory response we are conditioned to make or a trite observation we casually share. No, it means truly focusing on another individual and relating in a way that is genuine.
How important eye focus is for all of us. And for those of us whose work is about building relationships it is imperative. (In the non-profit philanthropy sector that is the core of our business). Yet we all fall into the trap of just making “eye-contact”. We dutifully answer the e-mail, leave the phone message, have a casual conversation, make the well-prepared pitch and even deliver a brilliantly written speech. But, ask yourself, do you really achieve eye-focus?
There was someone else I met at the conference who also made eye-focus: Bill Abram, President of Pragmatix, a firm that helps businesses effectively use technology. Now, my own firm is small and not really a good business candidate for Bill’s firm. However, I was sharing some of my own technology challenges and frustrations. Bill exhibited amazing eye focus. He listened intently, asked questions and offered to provide real solutions. That is rare today. And when you find it – you really appreciate it.
So, while there are many things I brought back from this conference and many wonderful people I was able to meet and connect with, the concept of eye focus is one I will remember. So, thank you Lynne for giving me this new phrase and reminding me of the importance of connecting with each other. It truly resonates.
Here’s looking – really looking – at you, kid!