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Sharing close rapport with someone is the basis of positive social connection. As that rapport grows, you begin to mirror the neural activity in each other’s emotional areas of the brain. You become in sync, like two pianos playing the same song.

One way to build rapport is through eye contact. Studies show that rapport strengthens between two people when they lock eyes, proving that the old business wisdom about always looking people in the eye is actually scientifically sound advice. This is also why couples so often say to each other, “Look at me when I’m talking to you.” Eye contact tells our mirror neurons to fire, and when they do, the result is better performance and communication.

If you struggle with making eye contact, try practicing in a group setting first. There will be less pressure on you and more freedom to take a break.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

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