Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2032:
Hillary Clinton in Paris -
Building a Coalition Against Syrian President al-Assad

Yesterday, representatives from one hundred countries met in Paris. The purpose of this gathering was to build a coalition with a goal to bring peace to Syria and oust Bashar al-Assad. During the segment of this video from 0:31 to 0:56, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton points out that China and Russia, who did not attend this conference, feel no pressure from most other countries and thus act as if they have nothing to lose by not taking a stand against the Syrian government.

Take note of Secretary Clinton's facial nonverbals. They are completely consistent with her verbal message, tone, pitch, volume, etc.. The body language expressed by her hands is very congruent as well. When the hands/arms/face/body are used in an attempt to emphasize, underline, bring "life" to and nuance the verbal messages - these are termed illustrators. The former first lady's body language has significantly improved over the years. Certainly as a statesperson, her job description has grown more serious. When verbal messages, together with the paralanguage and nonverbal signals are all congruent - the emotion and message of sincerity is present and projected along with the "pure word message". This is an essential characteristic of those with high sincerity quotients - for which the Secretary of State gets high marks.

In most professions, the ability to qualify and quantify a level of sincerity is often far of the mark, yet few interpersonal tools are more valuable. Indeed, measuring the sincerity of others is a large portion of the skill of "reading between the lines".

How good are you at reading between the lines?