Next time I do a presentation or if I need a response from a group, and if no one puts up her hand, I will start looking for bright eyes in the audience and solicit a different, more positive response. From the New York Times article:
He (a Japanese colleague) continued: “In Japan, we don’t make as much direct eye contact as you do in the West. So when you asked if there were any comments, most people were not looking directly at you. But a few people in the group were looking right at you, and their eyes were bright. That indicates that they would be happy to have you call on them.”
We can all try to remember not to use our own lenses to interpret other cultures but to use many dimensions to understand cultural behaviour – to look for the bright eyes in the room.
You can read the fascinating article about cultures here.
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