Thursday, May 9, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2392:
Zoë Saldaña on Jimmy Kimmel -
Rapport Builders, Alpha Behavior & Dominance Displays
(Video) (Photos)

Zoë Saldaña recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel. The beautiful and skilled actress plays Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on the New Star Trek movie, "Into Darkness".  As always, truckloads of body language, however I will focus on two hand gestures, which are captured in still images below.

A specific manifestation of rapport can be seen here (at 1:04) as Ms. Saldaña touches what, in nonverbal parlance, is an extension of Jimmy Kimmel. Part of his personal space, this subtle touching of his desk is surrogate behavior for touching Jimmy directly (which is also rapport building and perhaps reserved for another time or another person). Care should be taken to not touch the "property" of (anything in their personal space and/or literal property) or the person to "early" in the conversation or if proper initial rapport has not yet been established. Note also that she is not touching with her palm. This is a great example of an alpha-beta hybrid. A full palmar contact is significantly more dominant. Be careful to avoid such a full palmar contact on your boss's desk. Increased frequency of touching should also be avoided - which is also more alpha. If a person does not like you, such touching (direct or via a surrogate extension) has the reverse effect - thus destroying rapport.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2276:  Michelle Obama's Eye Roll .... What was she thinking? and  What Did Boehner's & Barack's Body Language Say?

At 1:42 Zoë is again touching Jimmy's desk. Here however she is exhibiting increased assertiveness and alpha behavior with the nonverbal of a "dominant spider".

Here, at 1:08, Ms. Saldaña displays the full palm down touch which is even more alpha and demonstrates more assertiveness. If you display this dominance nonverbal, it should be almost choreographed into your discussion or negotiation at particular moments where you wish to drive home a particular point. The more alpha the gesture, the higher the chances it can backfire. People who use the palms down gesture excessively are either highly confident within the context of that specific discussion - or likely to be narcissistic or worse (not meant to be implied here with Ms. Saldaña).

When the full palmar touch makes contact with another person - what does this indicate? How about full contact with the palm on oneself?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2282:  Jay Carney and the Dominant Spider - White House Press Secretary's Body Language re:  National Labor Relations Board Vacancies

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1059:  Santorum's Dominant Spider

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1900:  Palmar Touch of another Person, an Animal or Object

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1866:  Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth are Engaged - An Affection-Love Sincerity Signal

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1829:  Dara Torres Interview with Piers Morgan - Embarrassment,  Visual Recall, Sexual Anticipation Lip Biting &  Sincerity Quotients

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2220:  Harry Reid on Jim DeMint's Retirement - A Body Language Tell of Insincerity