John entered the room with a smile, catching everyone’s eyes.
He cast an eye over the room, to find that there were about ten people and sitting at the head of a long conference table was the boss of the company, the decision maker.
John began his presentation as soon as he got to the platform, then kept his eyes peeled for the boss. After all, she was the one he had to convince, right?
As he proceeded, he noticed that the boss was all eyes. She was watching him and occasionally nodded her head at him. He thought to himself, “Hot dog! The boss is on my side.”
As John continued his presentation, he said something to bother the man sitting mid-table, a few seats down to the left of the boss. The guy was in clear view of the boss at all times. The man reached but did not say anything. John didn’t keep an eye open for his reaction.
John was so mesmerized by the fact that the boss agreed with him that he could take his eyes off her.
John finished the presentation and waited for an answer. In a split second the boss ran her eye over to the friend at mid-table. He looked back at her and gave her a single, slight shake of the head.
Here’s what happened:
He blew it! He missed the opportunity!
How could this have happened? Everything seemed to be going fine! What went wrong?
Here’s what went wrong:
He wasn’t catching what was going on in the room so he missed the nonverbal dialogue, especially eye contact.