Safety professionals are specifically trained to keep their eyes on their surroundings at all times in order to act on what they see. If their eyes are down, they cannot be aware of what’s going-on around them. If their eyes are up they can detect smoke from a building in the distance, observe a person’s suspicious behavior as they go around a corner or notice a sudden change in the weather and do something with the information.
Keeping your eyes-up is not as easy as it seems. Try keeping your eyes-up when you are with family and friends. Tougher still, try keeping your attention on strangers just a few seconds longer than you are accustomed. What do you experience? What additional information do you gather?
If 70% – 90% of communication is non-verbal, it makes sense to practice keeping your eyes-up longer and increase the chance of learning something you would normally miss whether words are involved or not.
If this request feels awkward or takes effort, you are benefiting. When you start to learn as much from what you see as what you hear from others you have gained competency.
What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say. – Ralph Waldo Emerson