1) Eye Contact Homework
Read this Wall Street Journal article “Just Look Me in the Eye Already” as background: [url removed, login to view]
Then over the next week, study how you and other people use eye contact and body language in everyday situations - at school, home, work, with friends and family and with strangers. Purposely experiment with eye contact in these situations, changing what you do: look longer or shorter, intermittently or continuously, with no expression on your face, or with a distinct facial expression, while speaking and while you are silent. You can also add SUBTLE mirroring to these experiments to see if that affects the rapport you have with the other person.
Notice what the effects of these experiments are, particularly what feels empowering or disempowering to you or others. Of course, do your experiments SAFELY, don’t get yourself into any trouble.
2) Write a one-half page to 1-page reflection paper (guidelines below) on your eye contact experiences. Upload to Blackboard by the due date and time. Additionally, bring a hard copy to class to use as reference during our discussion.
Guidelines on Reflection Papers
A reflection paper is an opportunity to reflect upon an experience or set of experiences, to assess them and draw conclusions from them. We are focusing on human communication, influence, your personal style and simple concepts that you can work with to discover your own version of “professional presence”.
The structure of the paper is usually best when you simply describe 1) what you did to create a positive experience, 2) what happened as a result, and 3) any useful observations or conclusions you draw from the experience. Focus on the positive. A required number of pages is given with each assignment; you may write a longer paper if you desire, but make sure you stick to the point of the paper.