Making eye contact in face-to-face encounters (video-con or Skype) is crucial to building trust with Americans.
While in some cultures, a downward gaze may signify deference and respect, to Americans, this same downward gaze could signify any one of these traits:
I often share tips in my coaching seminars on the appropriate ways to make eye contact to build trust and friendship with Americans. The below infographic from trainerbubble.com shows some tips on where in the face to make eye contact for different kinds of gazes. Please avoid the ‘intimate gaze’ with colleagues.
Many Indians ask me, “I can make eye contact, but how do I know I am not staring?” This is a great question. Read the below infographic for details on this. I find their advice to be quite accurate.
Eye Contact as an Audience Member
If you are an audience member in a presentation or work-related meeting with twenty people or less, it’s important to make eye contact with the presenter. If someone answers a question, make eye contact with that person. If you ask a question, you are like a mini-presenter, try to look at everyone while talking to engage everyone.
Eye Contact in Virtual Platforms
Making eye contact can be a little challenging when in video con-calls. I talk more about this in the video embedded in this post, starting from the 12 minute 15 second mark.
Jennifer Kumar provides tailored coaching and training to executives and professionals in India working with Americans. Role plays and analysis of situations (detailing the dos and don’ts of non-verbal communication with Americans and the reasons behind it), are the hallmark of the one-to-one, small group and larger group training sessions. Please contact Jennifer for more information.
Using English to Express Initiative
Using Tone of Voice to Express Initiative
Networked blogs link: http://networkedblogs.com/KWaL9
Original post date July 15, Updated with video, May 2020