In an earlier blog, we wrote about a site called “Lumosity” that claims to improve brain health and performance. The Training Box has been diligently exercising with encouraging results. One of the skills that is enhanced by regular training of this nature is peripheral vision, the ability to notice things at the edges of the field of sight. Did you know that improved peripheral vision is great for your communication skills?
With practice, you can become more aware of a whole range of things and not just the objects that surround you. Better peripheral vision helps you to register and process non-verbal signals like the facial expressions and body language of those with whom you are communicating. Building your sensitivity to these signals is important as even the smallest of movements can help you to read the sub-text of conversations. Posture, position, micro-muscle movements around the eyes or lips can reinforce and support the verbal messages that someone is sending out, signalling authenticity. Equally, they can make you alert to a conflict between what someone is saying and how they are saying it, indicating a need for caution or perhaps for you to ask a question to check something out. One-on-one conversations may not present such a big challenge for you as a communicator but the ability to notice and react to a multitude of signals could be critical in group discussions, at meetings or when handling questions after a presentation. Our advice: boost your peripheral vision!