Thursday, September 30, 2010

Five Leaders Walking Together but Four Showing Deference

During recent Middle East Peace Talks in Washington D.C., this photograph was taken as the leaders of five countries walk toward the East Room.  Left to right they are Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and King Abdullah II of Jordan. President Obama is walking at the front of this group. 

While they are all leaders, the United States is the organizing and host country. The other leaders are not subordinates in in the classic sense, but on the World Stage they are viewed as such in this context. Subordinates walk in front of their leaders at their own risk. If a group of employees is walking with their boss down the hall way, they walk in front of him at their own risk. It will be considered an affront and doing so puts their job at risk.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fear + Anxiety

In the everyday world, we often see more than one emotion displayed and a great example seen here. Herta Mueller, a Romanian-born German writer and Nobel Literature Prize winner shows both fear and anxiety in this photo. Of course, these two emotions often overlap. Ms. Mueller's upper eyelids are open slightly more than normal - consistent with fear in this context. Her classic inner lip roll indicates anxiety.  Herta was speaking at a news conference.


Monday, September 27, 2010

The Situation is ....

Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino from Jersey Shore is displaying classic contempt. I hope this surprises no one. The emotion of contempt is the only unilateral universal facial expression. It is often confused with a slight smile. Contempt is always directed at another person or group of people.

Contempt is such a strong emotion, that the recipient of contempt in the context of marriage, will suffer a significantly increased number and severity of illnesses for a period of four years (probably longer, but this was the duration of the study). The display of contempt will also predict marriage failure with an accuracy of 70% over three years.

Contempt is a very valuable tell in the business world as well. It is often displayed in a "Microexpression".  These extremely brief (0.04 seconds to 0.5 seconds) emotional displays (many different emotions may be displayed via microexpressions - not just contempt) are seen by only one in 300 people naturally - but virtually everyone can be trained to see them.  What are you missing?


Monday, September 20, 2010

Contrasting Male Postures (and Confidence Levels)

Here we see three professional athletes.  Sasha Christian (lady on left) and Julien Dupont (man in the middle) listen to Mark Webber (far right).  They're all great at what they do. Sasha's a champion wake boarder, Julien is a freestyle (bicycle) rider and Mark drives Formula One cars.  What I find interesting here is that Julien is out of his element and he's a bit defensive.  Mark is also attracted to Sasha (She's also attracted to him).

Mark and Sasha bodies are facing each other, while no one is facing Julien. Julien's arms are crossed in a classic defensive context. Marks arms are open with a palms-up display. Mark is taller and Julien's head is down turned. If he's looking at a taller person, his chin should be parallel to the ground or slightly upturned. Mark drives race cars, Julien rides bikes and Sasha looks great in a swimsuit. When both men are in the presence of an attractive female, it is not surprising that Mark is the dominant male.