I met a lot of people at the IFDF Convention and I noticed one disturbing fact:  people are afraid to make eye contact.

And these weren’t people on the street, minding their own business.  These were convention attendees who had entered the exhibit hall and were browsing the products and services being presented.  They were there to find the greatest new product or that one service that will help make their funeral home wildly successful and beautifully profitable.

And yet they walked around with their hands in their pockets (or folded in a defensive posture) and avoided eye contact because that initial moment of introduction is so hard to initiate.

So my nag for today is MAKE EYE CONTACT. 

Show some “love.”  Smile.  Connect with people in public by chuckling if something funny happens or offering to open a door at the post office for that guy who’s carrying five oversized packages.

ABOVE:  Dr. Andre Campbell shares a laugh with the gray-headed guy on an elevator. 
Notice all the glum faces around him.  (photo courtesy of

Amazing things happen when you make a connection with someone in public.  Quiet subway cars full of serious people turn into conversation areas if you’re just willing to make eye contact and say a pleasant word.

A quick joke in a stalled grocery store line can make an unappealing wait slightly more bearable.  People open up when they know you’re friendly.  Their guarded stance and wary looks turn completely around when they know that you’re a “nice guy.”

If you’ve listened to our other Daily Nags (Wear Your Nametag! and Shake Hands) you’ll also be adding to your firm’s reputation.  Acts of kindness and humorous grocery store outings are so frequent that that person whose day you’ve brightened will remember you and, if he/she has stolen a look at your nametag, will remember your firm for your kindness.

Is it hard to do this?  Possibly – if you’re a shy person or are worried about the response you’ll receive.  But the negative responses are so infrequent that I gladly take them because I know that for every ho-hum reaction I’ll get fifteen or twenty smiles and giggles.

I like smiles and giggles.  They make my day brighter and the next time I see that person, they reflexively treat me better.


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Hire Some Part-Time Help

I Know I’m Not Your Mother, But…