Sunday, January 22, 2012

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 913:
Low Confidence, Low Trust and Demure

When hands are placed in the front pockets, particularly when the thumb is included, it sends signals of low confidence and non-engagement. As with all nonverbals, this effect is amplified when standing in front of an audience. Mitt Romney (shown here with South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley) is surely not the only political candidate who has a problem with putting his hands in his front pockets though. Unfortunately many people have this habit - and it is certainly NOT a nonverbal sign consistent with leadership . It does not engender trust in others, and indeed it often creates feelings of distrust. Even in the best possible context, the pocketed hand is a very BETA and a very demure Body Language signal.  The former Massachusetts Governor commits this nonverbal political mistake often - even during debates. Intriguingly, placing or keeping hands in the pockets will interfere with one's ability to formulate quick answers and speak fluidly. Without a doubt, we don't want our leaders displaying this configuration. Mitt needs votes. Mitt needs delegates. Mitt needs to show us his hands.