Sunday, October 18, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3345: Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama and a Handshake at the U.N. (PHOTOS)

Although it was not the first time they met on this day, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama are captured here shaking hands at the recent United Nations General Assembly. This was, as so many are in the political realm, a highly choreographed moment - and yet what emotional information still "leaks"?

One key nonverbal tell in this photo is the relative angle/direction of their bodies. Mr. Obama is leaning into the handshake - projecting confidence, strength, an alpha emotional tone - and, although we know it's not the case here, it may (depending on the other body language with which it is clustered) also signal a genuine liking of the other person. What specific expression on Barack's face tells us that he doesn't care for Vladimir?

Vladimir Putin is leaning away from greeting the American - which may signal one of several things - disgust/dislike for Mr. Obama - or it could also be a signal of weakness & lower confidence - of a  beta emotional tone.  There are two very specific body language tells the Russian President is transmitting here which help us further thin-slice his emotions. What are they?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3343: Michigan State vs. Michigan, Football and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2511:  Barack Obama & Vladimir Putin  Handshake at 2013 G20 Meeting  

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3325: Vladimir Putin, the United Nations, Russian Soil and Confidence Levels

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3293: Why is Donald Trump a Better Liar than Most Politicians?

Nonverbal Communication No. 3110: Scarlett Johansson gets invaded by John Travolta - An Awkward Moment from the 2015 Oscars  

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3323: Matt Damon on Graham Norton reflecting on Winning Oscar - Blended Expressions 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3310: Carly Fiorina's response to Donald Trump's, "Look at that Face!"