Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2081:
Vladimir Putin - to Diss a Kiss
Russian Rebuff

In this video, Russian President Vladimir Putin is shaking hands with a group of Russian Orthodox Priests at a 14th Century Monastery on Valaam, a Russian Island. At the 0:14 mark (or in slow-motion at 0:21) a priest tries and almost succeeds in kissing Putin's hand. Vladimir suddenly pulls his arm away. His central eyebrows immediately contract together and downward in a nonverbal signal of anger (0:15 - 0:16 or 0:22 - 0:23). He then pulls his right hand/arm up and forms a fist (0:16 or 0:26 - 0:27) after almost Putin-pushing him away with his left. Putin certainly does not want to be viewed as a "warm and fuzzy" - particularly when it comes to religion. 

If you look closely (freeze at 0:16 or at slow-motion at 0:26), you can see his nostrils dilate, his mustache area tighten up - with a raising and protrusion of both his upper and lower lips. His chin also displays dynamic wrinkling. These body language configurations taken together are all highly consistent with the emotion of disgust.

Vladimir - if you want to build rapport, when in Rome ... (or Russia or Valaam) do as the Roman's do (regardless of their Orthodoxy).