Monday, April 2, 2012

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1496:
Tiger Woods' Disgust & Biofeedback

Tiger Woods is perhaps back on track - and just in time for The Masters. After a dry spell of two and a half years - Tiger won his first PGA tournament late last month at The Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. In this image of Tiger, we see a mild-to-moderate display of disgust. His mid-face tightening of the "mustache area" accompanied by flaring of the nostrils is highly indicative of the display of disgust. Less dramatic (and secondary) body language signals of this negative emotion are seen in the slight dimpling of Woods' chin, the moderate wrinkling between his eyebrows (as well as lowering of those brows) and the parentheses shaped furrows on each side of the golfer's lower nose & mustache area. Collectively, these configurations comprise a cluster of contempt.

Like most high achieving athletes, Woods holds himself to high standards - and is self-critical. Thus this body language/facial expression of disgust is a very common one for Tiger. I put forth the argument, that if Tiger Woods maintained a facial expression closer to being emotionally neutral at such crucial times, this would improve his performance. The same would hold true for any athlete, student, surgeon, sales person, attorney, etc. Greater emotional self-awareness is a natural by-product of nonverbal training & practice and is an extremely valuable, rarely considered and very under-utilized form of biofeedback.