The 10-4-1 Rule of Connecting with Others

by Jerry Balistreri


As the first point of contact between the public and your organization, you have the power to connect with people and influence! Your awesome power position can be wasted if you do not have the ability to connect quickly and easily with others.

The 10-4-1 Rule

It is often said, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” The implication

is that we can get information about the emotional status of a person. I’m not so sure and will leave that part of the eyes to psychologist and philosophers to debate, but what I am certain of is that eyes and eye engagement is the first sign of someone’s willingness to connect with you and you with them. At a distance of roughly 10 paces, two people will make eye contact. If one or the other person breaks that eye contact, it is an immediate signal this person has no intention of connecting with the other.

At a distance of 4 paces, you and the other person are now close enough to speak and hear each other. This would be the opportunity to engage verbally with, “Hi how are you?” Or, “How is your day?” Even with your verbal invite to engage, they may or may not respond.

If there is a verbal response, deeper verbal engagement can proceed at the1pace distance. If there is no verbal response at a distance of 1pace, it would be your opportunity to say, “Have a great day” as you pass by.

The importance of your position within the organization is far beyond what many people think. You can apply the 10-4-1 rule today, and I hope it will make “connections” for you. Thank you for what you do on a daily basis. You are the unsung heroes of many organizations!

IAAP works with the best trainers in the industry to ensure you have relevant, engaging, practical content at your fingertips. This blog is written by a speaker with a program in the IAAP Approved Programs database. Search by name or keyword to find their contact information and book them for your Branch or Region event.

Jerry Balistreri is a professional educator, administrator, trainer and author. His training on how to read body language leaves participants wanting more and creates a memorable experience. For more information on trainings that Jerry offers, contact him directly at: | 907.830.5258


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