Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis #1516:
Ozzie Guillen Apology, his "Sincerity Quotient" &
Fidel Castro

Ozzie Guillen, the outspoken manager of the Miami Marlins, and the first Latino manager to win a World Series (with the Chicago White Sox in 2005), has landed himself in hot water recently for positive comments he's made regarding the Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. He has since been issued a five game suspension.

In the two videos included in this post, Guillen has a very high "Sincerity Quotient". He's certainly an alpha male who's very good at what he does. In strong alpha individuals, it's extremely rare that a genuine apology or an honest and open discussion takes place when such an incident arises. You may like Guillen or "hate" him, but you've to respect this quality. "I'm sorry", "It's my fault", "forgive me" are three of the rarest statements, made in any language - particularly made so authentically.

When I began watching the second video, I was thinking - he should really take off his sunglasses - people will perceive him disingenuously if he leaves them on, etc. Then Ozzie himself spoke about the importance of "looking people in the eye". Later he repeated this as well as the significance being "face to face" when trying to patch things up. Guillen then took off his sunglasses. It was important for him - that other people to look him in the eye and see the sincerity and honesty in his eyes and on his face. He recognized the value of the human-to-human connection made during an apology and the increased ability to transmit such a very heart-felt emotion beyond that of just the words. Words are the symbols for the feelings which are the real movers in the hearts and minds of all those involved. I doubt Ozzie Guillen ever had a body language coach or read a book on nonverbal communication (indeed too few people have experienced either) but he certainly has and listens to his instinct.

Note that Ozzie did not stare at people when apologizing or discussing, if a person's eye contact increases over what it had been (generally speaking over 70% of the time when speaking in good, rapport generating conversation) - particularly when the STARE at someone's eye/eyes - there is an increased chance of deception taking place. Ozzie was not staring. His eyes naturally moved around to different people. If the amount of eye contact drops from baseline (or if a person keeps/puts their sunglasses on) - this also increases the likelihood that a lie is being told.

See also: Secret # 335: What does "Eye Contact" really mean?

Ozzie is sincere. If I were an attorney conducting voir dire (jury selection), I'd pick him any day.

What Guillen may lack in verbal discretion, he certainly makes up for in nonverbal intuition. Go Marlins!