Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eye Contact Etiquette Tips - Pause, Look and Listen

The eyes ...little mirrors to the soul...les yeux. Do you have problems with eye contact? Are you shy? Sometimes timid? What about traveling to foreign countries? What are their social and business customs regarding eye contact?

The following are a few tips to help you look others straight in the eyes when needed for introductions and business meetings:
  • The next time you have an introduction, try looking at the spot right in between the other person's eyebrows.
  • Americans believe clear, strong eye contact is important during conversation. Direct eye contact is a silent signal signifying attention and honesty. Averting eye contact or looking away during conversation implies dishonesty or lack of interest and it is considered to be distracting or rude to the person whom is speaking.
  • The British do make eye contact but at an angle rather than directly.
  • In many Latin countries direct eye contact is considered to be an aggressive gesture.
  • In many Asian countries, children when bad, are punished by either parent staring at them for extended periods of time.
  • In South Korea, making eye contact is important in business. It shows sincerity and forms a subtle, but significant bond between individuals.
  • In Thailand, eye contact is used to facilitate a need. For example, to summon a waiter, all you must do is to catch their eye, and raise your eyebrows to get immediate service.
  • Middle Easterners look long and deeply into each person's eyes to search their souls and determine from the dilation of the pupils the other person's interest.

So, for your next introduction, pause, look and listen!