Friday, November 8, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2593: Barack Obama, Insurance Cancellations and Signals of Low Confidence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Four days ago President Obama spoke to the Organizing for Action (OFA) volunteers regarding the Affordable Care Act. Several nonverbal signals during the video section of this speech (Note: The original video has, since the original post, been removed from its online source. The images below however, were captured from this video) betrayed that the President had slipped into a significantly beta emotional tone. He addresses the issue that at least 3.5 million Americans are getting their health insurance cancelled due to Obamacare ramifications when they were promised they could keep them if that's what they wanted. Needless to say he is on the defense and in damage-control mode.

Barack Obama is left hand dominant, yet throughout this section of his talk, the predominant hand-arm he used was his right (particularly the first 46 seconds). Hand-arm movements commonly termed hand gestures are known more specifically in the body language world as "Illustrators" - for if used properly they illustrate, emphasize, underline and give life to the verbal messages. However hand-arm movements - and lack thereof - may also reveal emotional dissonance or even contradict the verbal message.

Not only does the President, who normally displays outstanding body language with his hands and arms, use only his right, non-dominant hand throughout much of this video - but his dominant left hand is not even visible to the audience for much of the time, rather it rests at his side hidden behind the lectern.

Predominant or exclusive use of a non-dominant hand-arm is significant for low confidence, low comfort and a beta emotional tone. And while the President is certainly a high alpha and not about to run and hide, the fact that his left hand is hiding suggests he has some significant emotional dissonance in these moments and doesn't fully want to be there.

Even alphas personalities have moments where their beta creeps or even rockets upward. While invisible to most people, these ever-fluxing "Alpha-Beta Dynamics" are crucial to recognize and thus use to one's advantage.

What other low confidence signals does Barack Obama use in this video? Those of higher confidence?

See also:

Confidence Secret # 14:  High and Low Confidence Drivers: Arms Akimbo and Assertive Attitudes - Minnie Driver

Leadership Body Language Secret # 103:  High Confidence vs. Low Confidence Stance -  Who's Leading Who?

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1241:  A Low Confidence Pledge of Allegiance

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 337:  Michele Bachmann and a Low Confidence Stance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2313: Elisa Lam Video in Elevator at Cecil Hotel - What Her Body Language Tells Us ....

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2577: Bill Clinton and Terry McAuliffe - Alpha and Beta Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2555: Nancy Pelosi's Beta Body Language - Dialing it Up to Alpha

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2150:  Body Language Advice for  President Obama and Governor Romney in Tonight's Debate