Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1490:
Kansas Surrenders

Ben Fraser of the Kansas Jayhawks is displaying a classic sports "Emblem". An emblem is a nonverbal signal that - within a given region, culture or country - carries a specific and recognized meaning. Within the "culture of sports" (around the World), this "Hands on Head" body language indicates a missed opportunity or a loss. Care must be taken when interpreting emblems though - for they can often have completely different meanings in other cultures or contexts.

It is curious how this emblem is identical to that of surrender seen in armed conflict or during police arrests. While many nonverbals with raised hands are positive, these are three notable exceptions.

The Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Kansas Jayhawks in the men's NCAA basketball final last night, 67-59. Coaches take note: when your players strike this pose - they have "emotionally thrown in the towel". You have already lost.