Yesterday, newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin in Versailles. And with the Russian standing on the same stage, President Macron was very blunt in his criticism of Putin saying, "I have always had an exemplary relationship with foreign journalists, but they have to be journalists. 'Russia Today' and 'Sputnik' were organs of influence and propaganda that spread counterfeit truths about me."
Macron also said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a "red line", and, "would result in reprisals and an immediate response, at least where France is concerned."
Emmanuel Macron also openly criticized Russia's practice of labeling employees of Western nonprofits working in Russia as "Foreign Agents" as well as the severe abuse of the LGBT community in Chechnya.
Of course, Vladimir Putin is an alpha male. And he may indeed be, at least in terms of popular culture, THE prototypical alpha male. But like the rest of us, he is only human. Moreover, when President Putin is off Russian Soil, he routinely slips into more of a beta mode. And he's certainly not used to being openly criticized, on the World stage, in his presence.
With respect to their body language, note each man's hand-arm configuration. Macron's forward positioning is indicative of, and is transmitting - significantly higher confidence. Macron is on his home soil. Macron is asserting himself. Macron is Alpha. In contrast, Putin's posterior podium positioning is projecting tentativeness. His confidence is lower. Putin is being Beta. The nonverbal significance of this hand-arm positioning is particularly amplified here - when one is standing next to someone who's using the opposite stance.
Certainly one is to be cautioned about holding on to the lectern/podium too much - (regardless of where it is held) - for this practice (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier [MAP] surrogate) can backfire (in American politics, President Kennedy popularized holding the lectern, but it was because of pain he had from an old back injury - and he still didn't over-use this technique).
Summary: Although this example is but one moment, it exemplifies a larger pattern. Vladimir Putin, one of the most powerful men in World, when off of Russian soil, slips into a beta emotional tone. This phenomenon was spotlighted yesterday as Emmanuel Macron openly criticized Russia's practices while standing next to Putin.
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