Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1822:
President Obama's Stand on Same-Sex Marriage -
Is he Sincere?

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Ten days ago, during an interview with ABC's Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, U.S. President Barack Obama made an open declaration in support of same-sex marriage. Is he sincere? - Or is the President using this issue as a political tool during an election year? The vast majority of people answer this question based on their political bias. If this was another issue, and this were another man/woman - and you were sitting across the table from him during a crucial negotiation, could you tell if he was bluffing? If you were a defense attorney, and your client (the defendant) was gay, and you were selecting a jury (voir dire) - would you pick him to serve on the jury? What OBJECTIVITY TOOLS do you have at your disposal? 

Body language is a tool to enhance your objectivity when, as human beings, we are all inherently biased.

What does the President's head position tell you in this video?

What about the direction of his eye movements?

Did his forehead contractions suggest sincerity or insincerity?

What did his rate of blinking tell you?

Are his hand gestures (illustrators) consistent with deception or truth?

What MAPs (Manipulators, Adaptors, Pacifiers) did you spot?

What does the President's foot/leg position tell you?

If you were the President's body language/speech coach, what would you advise him to change in this video if he had a "do-over"?

Do you allow your personal biases to color your judgment as to guilt vs. innocence, sincerity vs. insincerity or truth vs. deception? OF COURSE YOU DO. The question is what are you doing to become more objective?

Fifty-five to Eighty percent of all direct human communication is Nonverbal. If you're not skilled in both the nuance of interpretation body language - as well as how you present yourself, moment to moment, in context - then you're placing yourself at a massive disadvantage. It's as if you would put ear plugs in - and pretend that you're listening.