Making eye contact enables you to read someone’s facial expressions and customize your verbal outreach accordingly–whether the eyes convey excitement, concern or curiosity. Eye contact is a stimulant for conversations.It also is a vital communication dynamic. You can readily see it happening–or not happening. People in conversation looking directly at each other and into each other’s eyes. What starts as a physical connection, eye contact sparks the connection that builds rapport. It signals respect and supports better listening.Unfortunately, many find eye contact awkward and uncomfortable. And consequently, they don’t practice and grow their proficiency.Become mindful of your eye contact proficiency and take actions to improve with every conversation. Make eye contact before you begin speaking. Hold that gaze for five seconds. When you break eye contact, look to the side rather than down. Then, resume your eye connection. Keep that connection steady throughout the conversation–when you are speaking as well as listening.