I have always used eye contact too and it really works. BUt....speaking of cultural differences. There are some to do with eye contact.
I found in El Paso that it is a sign of respect for the student to look down while you are talking to them. Direct eye contact can be interpreted as defying you. So, I have adapted to that diffence.
I have also read that eye contact rules are different in some Asian cultures. I'm not sure what they are.
My son, who is studying to be nurse, has a whole section on eye contact and different cultures. I will see if I can find it tonight and send it out. Just FYI. It may be helpful in some situations.
Teresa in El Paso