Some cultures will consider you ‘shifty’, ‘insincere’ and even ‘not to be trusted’ if you don’t establish and hold eye contact when communicating. Other cultures deem it downright rude and offensive to look them in the eye. And then there are even cultures who believe it is respectful to have indirect eye contact – it is a sign of being humble and revering the other person.
If you do make direct eye contact, how long do you hold it before you are staring? If you don’t make eye contact at all, how can you let the other person know you are interested in what they are saying?
Cultural intelligence includes knowing when to look at and when not to look at others…have you checked the culture of the group you will be interacting with?
What are your experiences with establishing eye contact when communicating with other cultures? Please share with us!