On Saturday Night Bernie Sanders apologized to Hillary Clinton for his campaign staff's role in the, now well publicized, data breach.
Senator Sander's mishandled this apology in multiple respects.
1. If he had the intention to apologize, he should have done so without being asked. Moreover, with the exception of an introductory statement, an apology should have been the first thing he said - and only then expounding on the details.
2. Bernie Sanders should have used an apologetic tone of voice and slowed down his rate of speech.
And from a body language perspective:
3. Senator Sanders should have turned toward Secretary Clinton with his whole body - feet, hips, torso, shoulders, head and eyes. Eye contact during an apology cannot be over-emphasized. This is one of the rare circumstances when, during a debate, one candidate should directly face another.
Take note of the image below, captured during 2:54 in the above video - during the exact moment the Vermont Senator is speaking the word "... apologize ...". Mr. Sanders' head/neck are only turned approximately 45 degrees toward Mrs. Clinton - while the rest of his body was pointed straight toward the audience. Again, this is a rare circumstance - yet if the apology is sincere, an exception should be made - and Sanders should have turned fully toward Clinton.
We point our body, face and eyes directly at those we respect (or to whom we're attracted - although this is, of course not the context here). When one person is not body-pointing toward another person while speaking to them - they either don't respect them, don't believe them, don't like them, they're not being sincere - or they're lying (these last two categories obviously overlap).
4. Sanders should have shaken Clinton's hand. If his body was fully pointed at her, and his tone and words were sincere - this would have been a profoundly powerful moment for Sanders (as well as contrasting strongly against the discord of the Republican party). Bernie would have most certainly enjoyed a boost in the polls as well.
5. Quiz: What other major body language mistake did Sanders make?
This fumbled moment was a major missed opportunity for Senator Sanders.
This website serves as an objective reference source for the science and art of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts – not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.
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