Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2930: Rand Paul and "Likability" - Building vs. Destroying It (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

It is no big surprise that Rand Paul wants the Oval Office in 2016. And whether it's the Republican nomination - or the Presidential election, those who love him will vote for him and the electorate who despises him will vote for the democrat (or another republican in the primary). Yet that still leaves one-third (or even as much as 45%) of the American public in the middle.

The most important factor by far which governs the decisions of the middle-third of the public is likability. And while every pollster measures this, few campaign managers take the distinction any further. Within the minds of these swing-voters, likability can be further broken down into three components:
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Vocal Qualities
  • Verbal content
Of these three, nonverbal behavior is the most important - followed by vocal qualities (paralanguage) and least of all (and ironic to most) are the candidate's words. So very little time, energy and effort are put into improving their nonverbal and vocal qualities - yet these will determine the results of the election. The same is true in the vast majority of times when it comes to making a sale, convincing a jury (or a judge), the bedside manner of a physician, de-escalating a confrontation, negotiations, dating,e personal disputes, etc.

During this interview, Senator Rand Paul is displaying several key body language signals which destroy likability. The conventional steeple (here displayed rather elevated and thus amplifying its effect), when used very sparingly and just for a second or two - can transmit alpha qualities, assertiveness and leadership strength. Paul, however, uses this for much too long (as do most who use it) and thus it backfires transmitting feelings of arrogance as well as condescending and patronizing attitudes.

Another up-regulator of these negative emotions which Senator Paul also is displaying here, is the central forehead contraction (CFC). When not used in the context of emotional or physical pain - either for oneself or for another person, persons or animal(s) - (e.g. sincere empathy) - the CFC is consistent with arrogance, incredulity and/or contempt.

What other body language configurations is Rand Paul using which are destroying both his likability and rapport?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2929: Jessica Alba, Sin City 2, Action Figures and the Jaw Confessional

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2328:  Senator Rand Paul's Body Language -  Pens, Lies and Filibusters -  Finger to Mouth Surrogates

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2333:  Sen. Rand Paul at 2013 CPAC -  Body Language & variations on the Lip Purse

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2498:  McKenzie Morgan, 17 Year-Old Solo Pilot Walks Away From Crash Partial Mouth and Neck of Fear Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis & Self-Test No. 2252:  How Self-Aware are you?  Plane Crashes with Collateral Damage to Cars & Highway 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2473:  Anthony Weiner & Huma Abedin Part III  When Shoulder-to-Shoulder is Broken 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2490:  Hillary Clinton and the Two-Handed Point - The American Bar Association, Body Language and Variations on a Theme