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The perks of making eye contact

In his new book, Brian Grazer argues that the road to innovation, creativity and good business pitches starts with having a real-life conversation

Brian Grazer’s new book Face To Face: The Art Of Human Connection.
Brian Grazer’s new book Face To Face: The Art Of Human Connection.

For Brian Grazer, the Oscar winner behind movies such as Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind, a major reason for his success is his ability to connect deeply with other people. It sounds trite, but he insists it’s true. “Human connection is my antidote to living a life that would have been more defined by my learning disability," writes the spiky-haired director in his new book, Face To Face: The Art Of Human Connection, which includes his interactions with people like Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Eminem, Prince and the Afghani rapper activist Sonita. The book is built upon his 2015 book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, which was based on his habit of engaging in “curiosity conversations". In Face to Face, Grazer, who co-founded Imagine Entertainment with Ron Howard in 1986, offers the several benefits of getting people to open up with one another, starting with basic eye contact. “... the modern impulse is for quick, transactional communication. I find it especially true in business, where people can be more interested in ‘getting ahead’ and ‘getting it done’ than getting to know one another—what motivates someone else, what they care about," he writes. At a time when we are trying to make our lives more convenient by connecting with people across the world with the touch of an icon, perhaps the key to a better, more real life lies in showing up in person.

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