Blog Archive

Relationships Advice: Realistic Expectations

No matter how wonderful and flawless your mate seems, no one is perfect. Be careful about putting someone on a pedestal, especially in the early stages of your relationship. Make sure that the expectations you have for your mate and yourself are realistic. There are going to be differences in opinion, and probably some disagreements. Also, do not assume that your mate knows how you feel or what you think about something. When discussing something important to you, ensure that you both understand the same thing. The reality is that neither one of you is going to know exactly what the other one needs. As long as you do not expect them to read your mind and accept that this is a part of getting to know one another and communicating, you will be fine.

Humour - An indicator of relationship quality
Small Acts but Great Return - Empower your relations
Emotional Bank Account - A unique Concept for strong relationships
Mother's diet sows seeds of diabetes in the womb
Story: The wow approach
Why Children Misbehave And How To Deal With Them

Change is Good For You - Be Realistic Don't Be Stubborn

Sometimes we need to change ourselves, and sometimes we need to change the way we do things.  And sometimes things change us.
A change can change everything!  So, change what you need to change, but just be compassionate with yourself.  Be realistic about what is possible. Be patient, because just like the seasons, change happens in its own time.

6 Tips for Resolving Conflicts
Story: The Power of Positive Talk
9 Tips To Make Effective Decisions
Story of appreciation
Parental Control Software - Control your kids' online activities
Work, Family, Health, Friends & Spirit - An analogy

Creating a Sacred Space In Your Home


Would you like to have your very own sacred space in your home? Well, you can. Find a place in your home, a corner of a room, & create a space for you. You can keep it minimal or fill it with things that inspire, plants, flowers, paintings, photos, candles... Make your space sacred by making it a digital free zone (no internet, no mobile, tabs, TV, nothing) & creating positive & powerful thoughts for yourself, others & the world.
Now, what will you do in your sacred space? Well, you can write, draw, read, meditate or just sit for a bit and focus on what good things you can do in your life. What benefit you can give to others. How you can make someone smile today or daily. In fact, there are millions of good things you can think off in your sacred place.

Story: The Twist In Murder Story

This is an unbelievable twist of fate!!!
At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, (AAFS) President Dr. Don Harper Mills astounded his audience with the legal complications of a bizarre death.
Here is the story:
On March 23, 1994 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head.
Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of a 10-story building intending to commit suicide.
He left a note to the effect indicating his despondency.
As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window, which killed him instantly.
Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.
The room on the ninth floor, where the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife.
They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun!
The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the window, striking Mr. Opus.
When one intends to kill subject 'A' but kills subject 'B' in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject 'B.'
When confronted with the murder charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant, and both said that they thought the shotgun was not loaded.
The old man said it was a long- standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun.
He had no intention to murder her.
Therefore, the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, assuming the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun about 6 weeks prior to the fatal accident.

It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.
Since the loader of the gun was aware of this, he was guilty of the murder even though he didn't actually pull the trigger.
The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

Now for the exquisite twist...
Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus.
He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's murder.

This led him to jump off the 10 story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window.
The son, Ronald Opus, had actually murdered himself.
So the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.
A true story from Associated Press.

Stop Calling Me An Introvert. I Prefer "Power Thinker".

Stop Calling Me An Introvert. I Prefer "Power Thinker".
I'm getting sick of the term "introvert".
It sounds like someone with a problem. Like someone who is anti-social. In contrast, an "extrovert" sounds outgoing and engaging. Like the CEO or student body president.
Yes, some of us are pretty quiet in classrooms, dinner parties and corporate functions. Yes, we do find parties tiring after an hour or two. And yes, we usually let the phone ring through to voicemail (it's distracting).
But none of this is because we are anti-social (in fact, one-on-one we are pretty chatty). It's mostly because noise and crowds prevent us from doing what we do best, which is deep thinking.
Most introverts I know are basically full-time thinkers. They are doing it basically all the time. And we do deep thinking better than other people. That will sound arrogant to the extroverts, who will say "Well, we can do deep thinking too".
My answer is "No, you can't. Not like us."
The difference, as I see it is, is this:
  • Extroverts like to go to conferences, parties and corporate retreats - and they get charged up at them. In contrast, we get exhausted by noise and people. So naturally, extroverts are better at people-based activities, like leading big organizations.
  • But introverts get similarly charged up when we can find a quiet place to focus on a problem. Put an extrovert alone in an office for a week and he/she will get tired and lonely. In contrast, we will get charged up and focused. So naturally, we're better at it thinking-based activities, like research and writing.
So enough with the term "introvert". How did we get labeled by the negative side of our habits anyways? Extroverts aren't routinely called "annoying over-talkers".
From now on, I'm going with "power thinker". That's a better description.
"Extrovert" and "power thinker" are both good terms. They are both positive and aspirational - something one can strive for in life. The extroverts can aspire to become Jack Welch and Steve Jobs. We power thinkers can look up to Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Certainly, nobody has every dreamed of becoming an  introvert.
That's a bit of ranting and generalizing. Here are some examples from my own life:
  • I have a friend Amy who is an uber-extrovert. She is unbelievable. She probably meets 20-30 new people per day. In the office. At meetings. On the street. In Starbucks. She will go into a cocktail meet-and-greet and know everyone in about an hour. And not just hellos and handing business cards. She will get to know them and keep in touch. It's amazing to watch, like I am watching some other species than myself.
  • However, I notice I do similarly extreme stuff that she probably views as equally bizarre. For example, I will get working on a problem and then forget to eat. Not just a meal, but often for the whole day. And back in graduate school, I would frequently forget to eat for 2-3 days at a time (usually dropping from 140lb down to 120lbs during finals). But, far from being tired, I would become more and more charged up as the days went by. In fact, there was almost a euphoric feeling. Amy probably sees me as quite bizarre.
  • Another example. I have one particularly brainy friend who seems to balance being very analytical with also being a great executive at a large (and famous) internet company. She seems to be an ambivert, able to operate in both ways. I find myself both in awe of her ability to do this but also cringe at the thought of having to be in such a corporate environment myself. The term "team building exercise" literally makes me shudder.
  • But I think I have habits that would make even an ambivert cringe. For example, I find myself looking forward to taking 2 week trips for thinking and writing books. I find a beach house and then write 12-14 hours per day. And I will feel more and more energetic as the week goes on. I also find my thinking gets better and better. I suspect my ambivert friend would hate the idea of doing something like this.
Anyways, I'm going with "power thinker" from now on. It's positive and a bit cocky (kind of like extrovert).
It seems logical to me that some people are just more hard-wired for a life of contemplation. Looking back, all I've ever wanted to do with my life is sit in a bar and do math problems. But nobody (yet) has been willing to pay me to do this. If you know of someone, please send them my way.
Thanks for reading. I regularly write about Chinese consumers and competitive dynamics. If you would like to read my regular posts, please click 'Follow' or send a connection request.

​Hard Work will NOT guarantee my professional growth?

To be honest and straight forward with you, only hard work will NOT promote you in your professional life. There are several other aspects of your overall personality which are accounted for your growth. When I say overall personality, I mean your outer and inner personality. And when I say Outer personality, I mean your verbal (when you speak) and non-verbal (when you are not speaking) features of your personality. Together I call it "Corporate Image". In this article I shall cover sure fire techniques to improve your Corporate Image. But please bear in mind that the hardware will always be the prime and foremost aspect of your growth. 
Well, let us understand first why you should give importance to your official image?

Why Personal branding is important?
In your routine official life, you are being observed by your team lead, managers and/or senior managers on how you work, behave, speak, act, react, meet, greet, resolve and so on. All these observations are contributing towards your overall image. This image analysis is being done by the management for everyone. So when it comes to new opportunity or project in the department, it will be awarded to the one having good professional or corporate image.

Here are the things which you need to work on to promote your corporate image:

It all starts from your brain. Good Mind Good Find. It is as simple as that. Focusing on your thoughts will give maturity to your speech and actions which consequently would result in great personality. If you think you should only work on the physical appearance factor of your personality by looking nice through branded coats, pants and other accessories; it is going to result in a disaster since it will be equivalent to a bitter toffee in a nice wrap. Once the wrap is removed, the toffee is going to give a bad taste anyway.  You may want to read my article which addresses the issue in detail.

Try to get engaged in more and more projects. If you really want to do task you will find a way to do it, if you don't, you will find an excuse so grab more tasks; off course not at the cost of your family life. Try to meet expectation as much as possible. Done go to your boss with a problem without  solution. Develop skills such as problem solving, analytical Skills and creativity. Be efficient, confident, sharp, dynamic in your day to day life. article written by Junaid.Tahir

Be socially active, do not skip meetings. Try to give your positive and optimistic opinion as much as you can.  Say hello to everyone. Be enthusiastic, humorous and friendly. Do not miss any telephone calls.  Avoid reacting.  Treating everyone with equal respect, Avoid irritating & negative comments. Build a vocabulary of positive words. Use and practice these again and again. Develop effective communications skills.

Physical appearance matters a lot. Whether you are sitting in a meeting or walking in office or just working from your chair, you need to look confident. Your posture should portray your confident personality. When you are meeting with someone, try to work on your First Impression. Ask yourself whether the person is going to call you a Decent chap? Rough? Polite? Nice or what?.  Your way of handshaking, standing/sitting, smiling, eye contact, shoes, dressing, voice, physical fitness, remembering names matter a lot. Do you have old suits in your wardrobe? Get rid of them. Do you have old hair style for some time? Change it. Do you use same colors of clothes? Buy new. Do you talk too quietly or too loudly? Change your tone. article written by Junaid.Tahir. Remember, you dont need to be in high end tuxedo for great impression, you can acheive the same by haivng a simple life style.

Live an ethical life . Your personality should reminder others as a confident, honest, friendly, organized, creative, trust worthy and decent but mature person. Help others whenever it is required. Seek first to understand then to be understood. Don't impose your decisions on someone. Listen emphatically. Listen more and speak less. article written by Junaid.Tahir

Hard work is definitely the key to success however you need to work on several aspects of your personality to move on your professional ladder. Always remember that consistency in your actions is critically important. Your inconsistence behavior is an indication of your non-predictive personality due to which people won't trust you. If you would like to develop trust please read my article 

EXCEL: Creating a Waffle Chart

Have you heard of the Waffle Chart (also called the square pie chart)?
I have seen these in a lot of dashboards and news article graphics, and I find these really cool. A lot of times, these are used as an alternative to the pie charts.
Note: If you can't see the images in this email, please enable pictures display, or click here to read in your browser.
Here is an example of a waffle chart (shown below):
Waffle Chart in Excel - Example
In the above example, there are three waffle charts for the three KPIs. Each waffle chart is a grid of 100 boxes (10X10) where each box represents 1%. The colored boxes indicate the extent to which the goal was achieved with 100% being the overall goal.
What do I like in a Waffle Chart?
  • A waffle chart looks cool and can jazz up your dashboard.
  • It's really simple to read and understand. In the KPI waffle chart shown above, each chart has one data point and a quick glance would tell you the extent of the goal achieved per KPI.
  • It grabs readers attention and can effectively be used to highlight a specific metric/KPI.
  • It doesn't misrepresent or distort a data point (which a pie chart is sometimes guilty of doing).
What are the shortcomings?
  • In terms of value, it's no more than a data point (or a few data points). It's almost equivalent to having the value in a cell (without all the colors and jazz).
  • It takes some work to create it in Excel (not as easy as a bar/column or a pie chart).
  • You can try and use more than one data point per waffle chart as shown below, but as soon as you go beyond a couple of data points, it gets confusing. In the example below, having 3 data points in the chart was alright, but trying to show 6 data points makes it horrible to read (the chart loses its ability to quickly show a comparison).
    Waffle Chart in Excel - 3 vs 6
If you want to deep dive into the good and bad of waffle charts, here is a really nice article (do check out the comments too).
Now let's learn to create a waffle chart in Excel using Conditional Formatting.
Download the Example file to follow along.

Creating a Waffle Chart in Excel

While creating a waffle chart, I have Excel dashboards in mind. This means that the chart needs to be dynamic (i.e., update when a user changes selections in a dashboard).
Something as shown below:
Waffle Chart in Excel - Dynamic
Creating a waffle chart using conditional formatting is a three-step process:
  1. Creating the Waffle Chart within the Grid.
  2. Creating the Labels.
  3. Creating a Linked Picture that can be used in Excel Dashboards.

1. Creating the Waffle Chart within the Grid

  • In a worksheet, select a grid of 10 rows and 10 columns and resize it to make it look like the grid as shown in the waffle charts.Waffle Chart in Excel - Grid 10X10
  • In the 10X10 grid, enter the values with 1% in the bottom-left cell of the grid (C11 in this case) and 100% in the top-right cell of the grid (L2 in this case). You can either enter it manually or use a formula. Here is the formula that will work for the specified range of cells (you can modify the references to work in any grid of cells):
  • With the grid selected, go to Home –> Conditional Formatting –> New Rule.Waffle Chart in Excel - New Rule
  • In the New Formatting Rule dialog box, select Format Only cells that contain and specify the value to be between 0 and A2 (the cell that contains the KPI value).Waffle Chart in Excel - cells that contain value between 0 and A2
  • Click on the Format button and specify the format. Make sure to specify the same fill color and the font color. This will hide the numbers in the cells.Waffle Chart in Excel - fill and font color changed
  • Click OK. This will apply the specified format to the cells that have a value less than or equal to the KPI value.Waffle Chart in Excel - conditional format applied
  • With the grid selected, change the fill color and the font color to a lighter shade of the color used in conditional formatting. In this case, since we have used Green color to highlight cells, we can use a lighter shade of green.Waffle Chart in Excel - fill and font changed green
  • Apply 'All Border' format using white border color.Waffle Chart in Excel - white border
  • Give an outline to the grid with a gray 'Outside Borders' format.Waffle Chart in Excel - gray border
This will create the waffle chart within the grid. Also, this waffle chart is dynamic as it is linked to cell A2. If you change the value in cell A2, the waffle chart would automatically update.
Now the next step is to create a label that is linked to the KPI value (in cell A2).

2. Creating the Label

  • Go to Insert –> Text –> Text Box and click anywhere in the worksheet to insert the text box.Waffle Chart in Excel - insert text box
  • With the text box selected, enter =A2 in the formula bar. This would link the text box to cell A2 and any change in the cell value would also be reflected in the text box.Waffle Chart in Excel - text box reference
  • Format the text box and place it in the waffle chart grid.Waffle Chart in Excel - Text Box Placed
The waffle chart is now complete, but it can't be used in a dashboard in its current form. To use it in a dashboard, we need to take a picture of this waffle chart and put it in the dashboard, such that it can be treated as an object.

3. Creating the Linked Picture

  • Select the cells that make the waffle chart.
  • Copy these cells (Ctrl + C).
  • Go to Home –> Clipboard –> Paste –> Linked Picture.Waffle Chart in Excel - paste as link
This will create a picture that is linked to the waffle chart. You can now place this picture anywhere in the worksheet or even in any other worksheet of the same workbook. Since this picture is a copy of the cells that has the waffle chart, whenever the chart would update, this linked picture would also update.
Did you find this tutorial useful? Let me know your thoughts/feedback in the comments section below.
Suggested Tutorials:

Great Recommendations for Parents

To all parents and even grandparents, as well as teachers, here are some unbelievably simple parenting ideas that work.

1. Children need a minimum of eight touches during a day to feel connected to a parent.

If they're going through a particularly challenging time, it's a minimum of 12 a day. This doesn't have to be a big deal; it could be the straightening of a collar, a pat on the shoulder or a simple hug.

2. Each day, children need one meaningful eye-to-eye conversation with a parent.

It is especially important for babies to have that eye contact, but children of all ages need us to slow down and look them in the eyes.

3. There are nine minutes during the day that have the greatest impact on a child:

the first three minutes right after they wake up
the three minutes after they come home from school
the last three minutes of the day before they go to bed
We need to make those moments special and help our children feel loved.
These are simple, right? Nothing really earth-shattering here.

Try it.
1⃣ Whenever u feel like scolding or beating your child, take a deep breath, or count 1-10 and then act.
2⃣ Let's ask them to study their favorite subject on their own..
3⃣ Send them to one exam without studying at all..
4⃣ Remember what our kids are learning in 5th std is taught to 7th std abroad..
5⃣ Lets keep our kids out of unwanted competition.
6⃣ 80% of what kids are learning ,won't be useful to them in future..
7⃣ Our kids can really afford to do whatever they want to do in future .
8⃣ Higher degrees don't guaranty success and happiness..
9⃣ Not all the highly educated people do well professionally.
And not all who do well professionally are the happiest ones..
Kids are always in a party mood.. don't spoil their childhood. Support and let them be what they want to be.

Story: The Charming Senior Couple and Their Past Pain

Last week my hubby and I decided to visit one of my dad in law's old friends living in Delhi.

He is a retired officer from the Indian army. Very fine couple, well spoken, very well read and widely traveled. They had a son who they lost during the Kargil war, but they never show any trace of pain on their face.

It appeared as if everything in the garden is lovely, but the deep set wrinkles on aunty's face tell a different tale altogether.

Countless jokes of uncle, humor packed texture of his conversation, does a brilliant job camouflaging their PAIN with grace and elegance. We had a wonderful time spent with them. Since they are old associates of my dad in law (He is from Indian army too) my hubby had a gala time revising the old memories of his school days.

Uncle and aunty told some very funny incidents and I kept laughing like a fearless kid.

Soon their care taker served us neatly organised tea and with each simmering sip came even more interesting chain of events from uncle's well preserved memory bank. I was wondering as to how could they talk endlessly, without even a small pause.

After we were done with tea, I got up to collect all the cups and the other things to keep in a tray so that I could keep those back in the kitchen. BUT I was stopped by a very authoritative and strong voice-
."Noo, Please do not move those cups from there."

I was astounded by his reaction, was taken aback and looked at aunty if I had ruffled his feathers by any action of mine. My heart was in my mouth, literally. But then, Aunty looked at uncle and said softly- "Tussi bhi na, Bacche nu dara hi ditta, thora aram naal bhi keh sakde ho." ("You scared the child, could have said it more softly".

Uncle realised the sudden change in his voice and very sweetly he sat next to me, held my hand and kept his right hand on my head.

And what he spoke after that, made me cry from within. It was so painful, simple yet so profound..

Softly he spoke "Beta cups ko aise hee rehne do, subah tak nahi uthayenge. Kuchh toh ehsaas hoga ki zindagi yahan aayi thi. ("My loving daughter, please leave these cups like that only., will not remove them till morning. We also should have the feeling that life had come here."). The house always remains spic n span, nothing is moved or disturbed and is kept as it is. Ham taras jaate hain ki koi toh ghar ko ganda karne wala ho. ("We long for someone to come to our house and make it dirty") So let the cups stay that way. We will cherish the sight of it and promise me that you will visit us again with your sons."

All I could do was to 
and assure him to be back with my sons.

I like my house to be neatly organized and make sure my boys follow the suit too, but unfortunately my younger one still believes in living like a caveman. So as usual, when I was lecturing him today after seeing the plight of his room, I got reminded of this episode and suddenly, I stopped lecturing him and gave him a suffocating hug leaving him confused to the core.

I think taking out an hour in a month to visit your parents, relatives or old friends, doesn't cost us an arm and a leg. All it takes is a few stolen minutes from our lives.

PAIN is known only by
the One who has it. A little Kindness, Caring Attitude, Sympathetic Attitude & Empathy, shall
only add to your own HAPPINESS, SATISFACTION & sense of WELL BEING.

Following story was sent to me by our friend Brig Subramanium retd. touched my heart so I have shared with you.

Story: Father and Son Flying Kite
Story: The Costly Jaguar
Story: The President's Father
Story - The Monkey And The Apples
Story - The Carpenters - Bridging the gap
Story - Man and The Hotel Owner
Story – The bus driver - A Management Lesson

Story: My Neighbor Is A Thief

Once an old man spread rumors that his neighbor was a thief. As a result, the young man was arrested. Days later the young man was proven innocent.

After being released he sued the old man for wrongly accusing him.
In the court, the old man told the Judge: "They were just comments, didn't harm anyone."

The judge told the old man: "Write all the things you said about him on a piece of paper. Cut them up and on the way home, throw the pieces of paper out. Tomorrow, come back to hear the sentence."
Next day, the judge told the old man: "Before the hearing starts, go out and gather all the pieces of paper that you threw out yesterday."
The old man said: "I can't do that! The wind spread them and I won't know where to find them."

The judge then replied: "The same way, simple comments may destroy the honor of a man to such an extent that one is not able to fix it. If you can't speak well of someone, rather don't say anything."

Giving comments about others have several disadvantages:
1-     we become slaves of our words what we have uttered.
2-    We lose our own respect in society/colleagues because of doing consistent character assassination.
3-    Most of time, we are not sure whether we are right or wrong because being human our judgment can be wrong so we fall in the category of liars.
4-    Negative trait of our personality becomes prominent which becomes our character in the long run

Confidence: How to Look People in the Eye


Making good eye contact is surprisingly difficult, and we can all learn to use good communication skills during important interactions. If you want to be a better listener, speaker, and cultivate a more convincing presence, you can learn to practice making eye contact on your own and in conversations to give the right impression.

Part 1 Practicing in Conversation

​ ​
Try and relax as much as possible. As with anything else, the more you think about what you're doing, the more self-conscious you'll become and the more awkward you'll feel. Your nervousness can then be misinterpreted as dishonesty, and you'll lose ground on the good progress you've made.

Typically, making eye contact is more difficult as the person you're talking to is more authoritative or intimidating. Unfortunately, these are also typically the times you'll need to show confidence in order to gain the full attention of your audience, making it more important than ever to relax.
If you're going into an important conference or interview, do some breathing exercises beforehand to get your heart rate to slow and let the oxygen relax you. A few big, full, deep breaths can do a lot to calm you down.

Focus on one eye. It's actually physically somewhat difficult to keep your eyes locked on both of another person's eyes. It's more common to actually focus on one, or on a spot on the face, rather than trying to look at both eyes at once.

If it helps, try moving back and forth between the two eyes, rather than staying focused on one. Keep focused on one for 10 seconds or so, then switch to the other.

​ ​
Find a nearby spot to fix your gaze. Looking at the bridge of the nose, an eyebrow, or just below the eyes will give the illusion of eye contact, without the intimidation of making actual eye contact. The other person won't be able to tell the difference, and you'll be able to focus on more important listening skills to be a good conversationalist.

​4 ​
Break your gaze to nod, or make other gestures while listening. You need to break your gaze every now and then, and it helps to be making another gesture when you do, rather than just looking away because you feel uncomfortable. It's good to break eye contact when you're laughing, or to nod and smile. This looks natural and comfortable, as well as providing you a needed break if necessary.

​ ​
Try to keep your eyes focused while you talk as well as listen. It's one thing to look while you're listening, but it's much more difficult to keep eye contact while you're also trying to think of things to say. Don't be afraid if you have to break your gaze occasionally, but try to keep your face and eyes forward and up as you're talking.

Looking up when you're talking is sometimes thought to suggest that you're lying, while looking down is sometimes thought to signify confusion on your part. For this reason, it's usually best to look straight ahead, even if you're feeling uncomfortable and can't keep your eyes making contact. Look at the other person's ear, or chin, or anywhere but up or down.

Part 2 - Practicing at Home

​ ​
Use practice sessions to remind yourself to make eye contact. A big part of making eye-contact is just remembering that you're supposed to. If your natural inclination is to stare down at your shoes, try to practice when you're alone to realign your natural response to gaze down by focusing your eyes on faces. This can be done on television, in the mirror, or in a variety of other ways.

​ ​
Practice on the television. One of the most readily available ways of practicing your eye-contact is to do it when you're alone, watching television. Focus on making eye contact with the characters on the screen and practicing the same skills to transfer them to your real-life conversations.

Obviously eye-contact with faces on television will feel very different than making eye contact with real people. The point of the exercise is to practice the skill, not to approximate the feeling.

Try watching video blogs. If you don't have a television, try looking up YouTube vlogs and other videos in which people make eye-contact with the screen. This can make the eye-contact feel a lot more real. These videos are widely available and free, and are actually somewhat better at approximating what it's like to make eye contact during a conversation.

​ ​
Try video chatting. If you have a close friend who you enjoy talking to, try using Skype or use another type of video chat to practice your eye contact. This is usually somewhat easier than in person, since you've got a computer screen between you.

​ ​
Practice looking into your own eyes in the mirror. Again, it won't feel the same as making eye contact with another person, but you can practice training your eyes to drift toward the eyes you see back in the mirror, rather than deflecting them, if you practice looking at your gaze in the mirror. Just taking a few minutes before or after a shower can help you train yourself to make eye-contact, rather than avert your eyes.[1]

​ ​
Take it slow. You don't have to transition from feeling awkward and as if you've got shifty eye contact to suddenly drilling eye-lasers into the people you're having conversation lists. In fact, this can actually be somewhat disconcerting. You're probably already making some degree of eye-contact, but if it's something that you're trying to work on, take it slowly.

If you make one extra effort to lock eyes during a conversation each day, call it a success. You don't have to sit through extra-long conversations made up entirely of locked eyes to feel like you're making progress.[2]

Part 3 - Giving the Right Impression

Practice other good listening skills. During the conversation, if you focus completely on what that person is saying, you can worry less about making eye contact correctly. Nodding, repeating important bits of information, using open body language, and other active listening skills are just as important to a conversation, if not more so, than good eye contact. To listen actively, it's important that you:

Sit forward in your chair
Nod along
Listen closely and repeat important information
Process what's being said
Don't just wait for your turn to speak
Respond accurately to what is said

Find a happy medium. When you are listening, you should have eye contact for 80% of the time and the other part should be short breaks and a little head movement to say without saying that you are listening. Be calm and don't over think it to keep things as natural as possible.

Avoid staring. Eye contact is good, but a dead-eyed, laser-locked gaze is just creepy. Stay relaxed and don't stare. Remind yourself that you are hoping to have a pleasant conversation with this person, and there will be no need to be anxious or worried.

Show eye magnetism. Try not to look away instantly when something else calls for your attention. If somebody calls you, don't look away as if you just got rescued from a boring conversation. Instead, slightly hesitate before looking at your caller.

Looking away then quickly looking back is also a good idea. Remember though, important disruptions such as dangerous or priority interruptions warrant instant attention.

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Smile with your eyes. Keep your eyebrows relaxed, or your eye contact can look suspicious or intimidating, even if you're doing a good job remembering it. Try to keep your eyes open as much as possible, avoiding a squint, which can communicate that you dislike what the other person is saying, or a furrowed brow, which can communicate anger..

Go to the mirror and look at your eyes while you smile, and while you frown, or grimace. See the difference in what your eyes do? Practice keeping your eyes like you're smiling, even if you're not.

Always make eye contact in job interviews. Eye contact and good listening is especially important when you are at a job interview, but also any time you want to communicate attentiveness and respect. Potential employers might think that you're hiding something or you're not confident if you struggle to make eye contact, which can hurt your chances.

​6​ Make eye contact when you want to prove a point. If you're having an argument or other heated discussion, it can be tempting to want to avert your eyes. This communicates a lack of confidence, or a deferral to the person you're having the conversation with, which is something you hope to avoid. If you're in any kind of disagreement, locking eyes is an assertive gesture that helps you to communicate the confidence that what you say is true.[3]

If someone is trying to intimidate you, they want you to look away. Frustrate them by refusing. Stare right back.

Source: WikiHow