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Emotional Intelligence Exercise: Making Eye Contact

Emotional Intelligence Exercise: Making Eye Contact


Purpose

This exercise helps delegates to understand and appreciate the power of eye contact and how it can affect emotional connection and emotional states. It is ideal in teaching emotional intelligence, body language and communication skills.

You can get the most from this exercise with the follow up discussions so make sure you allocate enough time for this.

Objective

Make eye contact with others following the instructions given by the trainer.

What You Need

  • An empty room where a group of delegates can easily walk around.
  • Blank cards that are easy to write notes on them while standing.

Setup

  • Distribute a blank card to each delegate.
  • Ask the delegates to spread around the room.
  • Explain that they should assume they are in an art gallery or a museum.

Stage 1:

  • Ask the delegates to roam around the room as if they are in a public space while not making eye contact with anyone else. They should improvise and act the role.
  • Allow one minute for this part.
  • Stop everyone and ask the delegates to make a note of their feelings on their cards.

Stage 2:

  • For this round, ask the delegates to seek out eye contact as they go about the room. However, as soon as they have made eye contact, they should break it and look away.
  • Allow two minutes for this part.
  • Stop everyone and ask them to record their feelings on their cards.

Stage 3:

  • In this round, ask the delegates to seek out eye contact and as soon as they have made eye contact with anyone they should pair up with that person. They should stand side by side and do not establish eye contact with anyone else.
  • Allocate two minutes for this part.
  • Stop everyone and ask them to record their feelings on their cards.
  • Bring everyone back together and follow with a discussion.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 1 min Stage 1 + 2 min Stage 2 + 2 min Stage 3 = 5 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes

Discussion

While going through various stages of the exercise how did you feel? How did it feel when you were making eye contact and you had to break it straight away? How did it feel when you made eye contact and you could approach the person to pair up? If you were slow to pair up with someone, how did it feel to go about finding someone you could make eye contact with? How easy was it to make eye contact with someone? How close do you feel with people that you maintained an eye contact with? What pre-conditioning dictates our behaviour in making eye contact or maintaining eye contact? How does this compare between different societies?