Thursday, October 27, 2011

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 741: Pencil in Mouth

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is shown here during the Greek debt crisis negotiations holding a pencil to her mouth. This is a classic nonverbal signal of true contemplation and the need for more information (Nierenberg and Calero). Depending on the other Body Language signs it is clustered with, it may also be indicative of stalling for time. Often a pen or pencil is used as a surrogate for a finger or thumb. This is a form of what is known as a Manipulator, Adaptor or Pacifier (MAP) and is correlated with increased anxiety.