Sunday, December 2, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4364: Vladimir Putin's and Mohammed bin Salman's High Five at the G20 - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




Putin has never smiled so sincerely on the world stage. And in spite of increasingly disturbing details continuing to emerge regarding the torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Crown Prince was similarly celebratory.

In a nonverbal amalgam of a High-Five and a Bro handshake, Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman conducted more than a bit of theater in Buenos Aires on Friday, 30 November 2018. Their actions could easily be substituted for two athletes - jubilant after scoring a goal.

Both Putin and the Prince have had journalists and their political enemies killed - and yet both men have gone unpunished. Moreover, Russia has recently renewed its military aggression against Ukraine - while the Saudi-led War in Yemen continues to kill tens of thousands of civilians via explosives, disease, and massive starvation.

What follows is a detailed nonverbal analysis of this G20 moment.


In this screen-grab, we can see Putin's:

• Eyelids are momentarily closed
• Forehead is relaxed
• Lower eyelids are evanescently furrowed
• Cheek muscles are vectored primarily upward
• Upper teeth are showing (while his lower teeth are not exposed)
• Face is blushing

Vladimir's smile is NOT feigned - rather it's quite sincere. Moreover, there's also a component of laughter. In this moment, the Russian is experiencing true joy-happiness.

The elevation of their hands is also quite significant - for the higher the hands, the greater the joy. 


A split second later, their hands enthusiastically meet. Donald Trump, in the background, appears to be looking briefly at the two men.


Mohammed bin Salman then pats the back of Vladimir Putin's right hand three times. While in serious contexts, such momentary double hand clasps would be a dominance display - in the midst of true joy-happiness, this action augments their jovial emotions - similar to back-slapping. It also serves as a bonding agent.

Note that Putin's eyelids are still completely closed - a characteristic common to significant and sincere laughter.


The majority of times, during traditional handshakes, most people make the profound mistake of making very little eye contact. Yet, as the Crown Prince continues to pat President Putin's hand, the Russian reestablishes eye contact.

These two additional handshake components - the Prince's hand patting and Putin's repeated eye contact - are crucial and drive home the significance and true sincerity of this moment.


As they turn to sit down and Mohammed bin Salman turns his face in view of the camera, we can see he also has a sincere smile of true joy-happiness (aka a Duchenne Smile). His closed/almost closed eyelids also signal a component of true laughter.


As he sits down Putin gives the Prince another round of eye contact.


And another.


After they sit down, they once again shake hands in the bro-handshake - common to younger men in informal settings. Mohammed bin Salman crescendos into more intense laughter - while Putin continues his sincere smiling.


In another intriguing moment, both men simultaneously readjust in their chairs. This behavior, termed Mirroring, is a signal they are of similar mindsets, they like each other - and indeed are in sync.


The Saudi Crown Prince then rapidly rotates his head once quickly to his right (0:22 - 0:23) - very much nonverbally celebrating/exclaiming to his partner, "Can you believe it! This is too good to be true!" - as the Russian President looks on.


Putin then clears his throat (0:23) as he displays just a bit of post-performance anxiety - signifying the thought-emotion of, "Okay, that bit of acting is over".

SUMMARY: There's no doubt that Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman at least partially choreographed their greeting at the G20 for all the world to witness. And in so doing, they were very deliberately giving the middle finger to the rest of the planet - particularly the United States, the U.S. Senate - and especially President Trump.

If you were directing a film and desired to signal to your audience that these two characters had indeed planned this scene - look no further than Putin and the Crown Prince for an example. But, it's crucial to note, that although their performance was planned, at the same time both men were quite sincere in their displays of true joy.

Acts some people find to be heinous and reprehensible - are those in which others will take pleasure.

You may very well despise Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman - but here's the Rub: to note similar times when someone who you like, believe, and/or trust - exhibits identical nonverbal behavior (e.g., in everyday scenarios). If we fall victim to confirmation bias - would we then be able to spot the lie? The Insincerity? The manipulation? No - most people would be fooled.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4363: Ivanka Trump's GMA Interview 

Body Language Analysis No. 4361: Donald Trump "Jokes" about leaving office

Body Language Analysis No. 4359: Trump and Putin in Paris

Body Language Analysis No. 4357: Donald Trump's response, "What a stupid question"

Body Language Analysis No. 4353: The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi and Trump's Defense of Saudi Arabia

Body Language Analysis No. 4332: Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, and The Kitchen Debate

Body Language Analysis No. 4312: South Korea Defeats Germany at The World Cup

Body Language Analysis No. 4299: Bill Clinton confronted regarding Monica Lewinsky Affair

Body Language Analysis No. 4287: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - Why Do We Kiss with Our Eyes' Closed (most of the time)

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Friday, November 30, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4363: Ivanka Trump's GMA Interview - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




On Wednesday, 28 November 2018, an interview with Ivanka Trump aired on Good Morning America. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of a crucial portion of that interview. 

DEBORAH ROBERTS (continuing at 2:30): How concerned are you about the Mueller investigation?

IVANKA TRUMP: I'm not.

DEBORAH ROBERTS: You're not?

IVANKA TRUMP: I - I know the facts as they relate to me - 'nd - and my family - annnd [sic] I have nothing to be concerned about. 

DEBORAH ROBERTS: Do you think it should continue?

IVANKA TRUMP: I think it should reach its conclusion. I think it's been a long time - that this has been ongoing - but, I want it to be done in a way in which nobody could question - thaaat [sic] it was hurried or rushed - and I think after this lonnng [sic] period of time, we're well beyond that point. So I think that it absolutely should reach its conclusion. 

and a bit later ...

DEBORAH ROBERTS (continuing at 3:23): But many people say that your father is doing nothing to heal - if, if anything he's creating more of a climate for hatred and for fear mongering. What do you say to that?

IVANKA TRUMP: I reject that. I think that he is - creating policy that's going to lift all Americans - annnd [sic] - that's - what his number one role is. But we need to have this dialog - annnd [sic] sometimes the expressions of anger and resistance arrre [sic] the moment before you really start to engage in earnest, and, and we are looking to do that.

DEBORAH ROBERTS (continuing at 4:00): But his tone doesn't reflect that and there 're people who are wondering as a White House advisor, do you advise him on his tone?

IVANKA TRUMP: [deep inhaling] He's - my father and he's my boss ...


During 2:33, just after Deborah Roberts asks, "How concerned are you about the Mueller investigation?", Ivanka Trump looks straight down and forward. Her mouth is slightly tightened as the area just above her upper lip and below her nose tightens. This is an expression of fear-sadness.


During 2:35, just after Ms. Robert's asks again, "You're not?", Ivanka Trump displays a classic Microexpression of Regret - as Ms. Trump's left mouth corner makes a very quick movement laterally. You may describe this as a "twitch". Watch this at regular speed, then at 1/2 speed, then at 1/4 - and again at full speed. Repeat this several times and then review this segment in this same manner multiple times a week. This practice will help you to become more adept at discerning microexpressions.

(Bear in mind, that regret is one of many emotions which may be projected via a microexpression).


Just after she says, "I - I know the facts as they relate to me - ", Ivanka looks down to HER right (2:38). This is the quadrant to which people will often look when they're feeling emotions of guilt, shame, and/or sadness - all feelings which commonly occur during deception. Ms. Trump's eyelids are opened wider in this instant - a manifestation of fear.


Three seconds earlier (during 2:35), Ivanka closed her eyes for a prolonged duration. Both this extended blink and her previous directional gaze - down and to her right - are each forms of diminished eye contact which are seen during deception.

Notice also, Ivanka says, "I - I know the facts as they relate to me - 'nd - and my family - annnd [sic] I have nothing to be concerned about."

She stutters, stretches out her words, and, crucially she separates herself, "I know the facts as they relate to me" - and then includes her family. She also says, "I have nothing to be concerned about" - rather than "We have nothing to be concerned about".

In statement analysis terms, these are examples of distancing behavior. She is verbally creating a protective space - between herself and the others - Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump - and her husband, Jared Kushner. This paralanguage behavior is a profound red flag.


During 2:59, just after she says, "... and I think after this lonnng [sic] period of time...", her knee raises after she raises up on her toes. While her hand movement here was voluntary and well-practiced (Ivanka has better nonverbal skills than her father, brothers, or husband), her leg movement was involuntary and betrayed her heightened level of anxiety.


Then, during 3:01 - 3:04, as she says, "So I think that it absolutely should reach its conclusion", Ivanka Trump then places each hand on the front portion of the seat of her chair with elbows locked and straightened. This hand-arm configuration is a significant anxiety tell.


During 3:34 - 3:35, as she says, "I reject that", Ivanka Trump displays what is known as a Self-Righteous Head Wiggle.

A Self-Righteous Head Wiggle is characterized by relatively rapid, side-to-side movements of the head and neck - and is often accompanied by a similar movement of the torso (and sometimes by shoulder shrugs, which are seen here).

Sometimes the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle (SRHW) will be very short-lived (a near-microexpression) - however in this example, although still relatively brief, it's of a longer duration (about a second).

The SRHW is commonly displayed by individuals who are in the midst of hyper-alpha moments of particularly high confidence while expressing especially strong opinions - ergo its synonyms of High Confidence Head Wiggle or the Hubris Head Shake.

The SRHW is virtually always subconsciously generated and very rarely feigned. It's somewhat helpful to think of it as a form of nonverbal swagger.

It's also crucial to emphasize that the dynamics of a SRHW are not captured in a still image and must be viewed in motion (please view the video several times).

In this example, the SRHW also has an additional overlying backward motion component. This extra movement is displayed when contempt, disgust, and/or incredulity are also present (in this example all three are seen) - or a superimposed forward motion (when condescending emotions coexist).

Fascinatingly, the vocal pitch grows higher during the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle - providing an outstanding example of the congruity between paralanguage and body language. Please re-watch this and listen to Ivanka Trump's voice momentarily increase a half an octave.


Two seconds later, during 3:35 - 3:36 as she says, "I think that he is ..." (and just prior to her saying, "creating policy that's going to lift all Americans"), Ivanka looks down and to her right again (guilt and shame) while she simultaneously displaying a Jaw Jut (signifying a surge of adrenaline). This is a profound moment of emotional dissonance as she's rationalizing her father's behavior.


Just after she says, "... annnd [sic] that's - what his number one role is.", Ivanka Trump displays a feigned smile. If it were sincere, we would see classic temporary, concave-up furrows in each of her lower eyelids and we would not see even a hint of her lower teeth. In such moments of insincerity - the corners of the mouth pull out laterally (to the sides as is seen here) versus much more upward vectoring (as is seen with sincere aka a Duchenne Smile).

Furthermore, in a general sense, smiling (albeit insincere) in this moment is significantly out of context. Attempting a smile when the social situation seems incongruous with joy-happiness is always a red flag.


Just after Deborah Roberts asks, "... a White House advisor, do you advise him on his tone?", Ivanka Trump inhales deeply and displays another Self Righteous Head Wiggle (4:08) - this one much more extreme than the example cited above - then saying, "He's - my father and he's my boss ..."

SUMMARY:  Ivanka Trump is indeed worried about Robert Muller's investigation. She has significant anxiety about her family's association with Russia - and she's attempting to distance herself from President Trump, her brothers, and her husband.

Ivanka Trump also displays a high level of hubris and self-righteousness - emotions which fundamentally overlap with, and are byproducts of, self-deception.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4362: Mohammed bin Salman regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Body Language Analysis No. 4360: GE's CEO Larry Culp's CNBC Interview and Subsequent Stock Sell-off

Body Language Analysis No. 4358: Donald Trump, Pseudo-Christianity, and the Not-So-Subliminal Cross

Body Language Analysis No. 4356: Donald Trump: "When I can, I tell the truth"

Body Language Analysis No. 4354: Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

Body Language Analysis No. 4350: Ashley Kavanaugh during Brett Kavanaugh's Swearing-in Ceremonies for the Supreme Court

Body Language Analysis No. 4342: Alleged Jacksonville Shooter David Katz

Body Language Analysis No. 4325: Part II - Trump Putin Helsinki Summit Press Conference

Body Language Analysis No. 4339: Pre-Confession Interview of Murderer, Chris Watts


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Monday, November 26, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4362: Mohammed bin Salman regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)



Mohammed bin Salman, together with other heads-of-state, will be meeting later this week in Buenos Aires at the G20 Summit. The Saudi leader made his first public comment regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on 24 October 2018. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of the Crown Prince's behavior during this event.

Mohammed bin Salman's translated statement (as provided with this video) follows:

"First of all, the crime was really painful to all Saudis and I believe, it is painful to every human in the world. It is a heinous crime that cannot be justified. Today Saudi Arabia is carrying out all legal things to finalize the investigation, to cooperate with the Turkish government and to present the perpetrators to the court and take their judgement. This is the expected thing that all governments would do once they see a crime. Undoubtedly the cooperation today between the Saudi and Turkish government is unique and we know that many are trying to use this painful thing to drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. I would like to send a message: They will not be able to do that as long as there is a king called King Salman Abdul Aziz - [another long pause with audience applause] and a crown prince called Mohammed bin Salman, in Saudi Arabia - [long pause with audience applause] - and a President in Turkey called Erdoğan. This wedge will not - [pause with audience applause]. This wedge will not happen and we will prove to the world that the two governments are cooperating to see that all perpetrators are taken to court - and that justice will be seen in the end. This is what I can say regarding this issue [audience applause]."


During 0:06, Mohammed bin Salam sniffs quite dramatically - a dynamic he displays many times during this relatively short statement. This is camouflaged contempt.

Rather than an overt contempt display - the psyche disguises it with a sniff.


Now, look back one second (during 0:05). The Saudi prince displays a Central Forehead Contraction (CFC) - more specifically this is an Elevated CFC (note his inner [medial] eyebrows elevating). It's profoundly important to observe what the mouth is doing simultaneously or nearly simultaneously - and as we just observed, a second later, it's projecting contempt.

If he truly felt sorrow and empathy for Jamal Khashoggi - and/or if he sincerely felt that "... the crime was really painful to all Saudis and I believe, it is painful to every human in the world...", then Mohammed bin Salman would instead have had a mouth of sadness - with its corners down-turned - together with his elevated central forehead contraction - and he absolutely would NEVER display contempt (disguised or otherwise).


A few seconds later, during 0:12, the Saudi Prince displays Disgust combined with Feigned Consideration.


Less than a second later (0:12), he again displays contempt - this time it's seen on the opposite side of his face - and it's not buried in the ruse of a sniff.

Less than a second later (0:13), the Prince displays an elevated central forehead contraction.

So, once again the juxtaposition of an elevated CFC with contempt signals a profound red flag.


During 0:24, as he says, "... with the Turkish government and to present the perpetrators to the court...", Mohammed bin Salam positions his arm/elbow up on the back of the chair. Note once again we see an elevated central forehead in the absence of mouth sadness.

In this context, such a cluster of behavior displays an intriguing dissonance. For while there is an attempt to project a confident, hyper-alpha emotional tone, the holding of his own hand betrays his need for cover and protection.


During 0:34 - we see a more dramatic contempt camouflaged in a sniff.


With another elevated CFC display seen just an instant prior to the contempt ...


... and another, longer duration, elevated CFC immediately after the contempt (during 0:35 - 0:41)


And more clandestine contempt-sniffing during 0:47


Again, contempt simultaneous with the beginnings of a Loose Tongue Jut (0:54)


Here, his Loose Tongue Jut is fully expressed (0:55).

A loose tongue jut signifies the thought-emotions of:

• I've been bad
• I've been caught
• I've done a stupid thing


Another elevated CFC (0:56)


This contempt display - during 1:05 as he mentions his father, King Salman Abdul Aziz, is accompanied by the narrowing/partial closing of his eyelids. This eyelid dynamic, although not required, here serves as a contempt amplifier.


As the audience gives an extended applause for the King, Mohammed bin Salman again displays more contempt.


During 1:10, Mohammed bin Salam reconfigures his hands and arms into a modified fig leaf as he prepares to say his own name. This is significantly beta body language demonstrating the Saudi leader's feeling of vulnerability and is maintained as he mentions Erdoğan.


During 1:25, the Prince displays another Loose Tongue Jut just after he speaks his own name.


During 1:39 he resumes his emotionally dissonant posture while attempting to appear relaxed and alpha (hyper-alpha).


More contempt during 1:50


Yet again juxtaposed with another elevated central forehead contraction (1:51)

As human beings, we're all are allowed to occasionally feel contempt - but hopefully, not too often. When contempt is exhibited so frequently - particularly in public, it's highly correlated with Impulse Control Disorder.

Mohammed bin Salman's contempt is also coupled with many displays of Elevated Central Forehead Contractions. If this pattern is seen over time, the correlation with Antisocial Personality Disorder (Sociopathy) is extremely likely.

SUMMARY:

Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, does not feel any empathy or sadness in the murder of the Jamal Khashoggi. Moreover, he feels dramatic contempt toward the dissident journalist as well as those who would question him in the killing of Khashoggi.

Intriguingly, Mohammed bin Salman also has contempt for his father, King Salman Abdul Aziz.

In addition, Mohammed bin Salman's nonverbal behavior, standing on its own, indicates with very high probability, that he orchestrated the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. When one couples the Prince's body language behavior together with the CIA's recent conclusion - the Crown Prince's guilt is solidified.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4361: Donald Trump "Jokes" about leaving office

Body Language Analysis No. 4359: Trump and Putin in Paris

Body Language Analysis No. 4357: Donald Trump's response, "What a stupid question"

Body Language Analysis No. 4355: Comparing Donald Trump and the Tree of Life Synagogue to Ronald Reagan and the Challenger Disaster

Body Language Analysis No. 4353: The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi and Trump's Defense of Saudi Arabia

Body Language Analysis No. 4347: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings - Part I

Body Language Analysis No. 4263: Kellyanne Conway regarding James Comey's Interview

Body Language Analysis No. 4336: Alita: Battle Angel, Large Eyes, and Sexual Attraction 

Body Language Analysis No. 4325: Part II - Trump Putin Helsinki Summit Press Conference


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Monday, November 19, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4361: Donald Trump "Jokes" about leaving office - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




On Thursday 15 November 2018, President Trump gave a speech at The White House conference on Supporting Veterans and Military Families. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of a crucial portion of this speech.

After about ten minutes of listing claimed accomplishments of his administration, Donald Trump said (continuing at 11:05), "... So, in addition to everything else, as you see, I did thee [sic] promotion of military spouse hiring across the federal government. (He then goes off script at 11:15) Fact is I've done a lot! I could s-, I could s- Good-bye everybody. Goodbye everybody Ω . That's a lot! . That IS a lot. That's more than anybody's ever even thought about - and I'm proud of it. And we're not finished yet. That's why § I figured I did so much I could leave now   (Then the President goes back on script).


Just after he says, "... I could s-, I could s- ..." and as he's stepping away from the lectern, just as he starts to say "... Good-by everybody...", Donald Trump waves with his right hand/arm (during 11:19 and notated by the symbol).


He then immediately displays a single palm-down sweep, wave-off after his reiteration, "... Goodbye everybody...".

This nonverbal dynamic is indicative of feigned dismissal - a signal of a passive-aggressive emotional tone (during 11:21 and notated by the Ω symbol).


The President then immediately displays - what in nonverbal parlance is known as a Jaw Confessional (during 11:24 and notated by the symbol). A jaw confessional is a fast and short-lived lateral thrusting of the jaw. (The jaw [mandible] may be moved toward either one's right or left. Trump has a bias to displace his jaw to HIS left). A jaw confessional indicates what is about to be said (and less commonly, what was just spoken) is a source of some embarrassment and/or shame - ergo, it's a type of confession - and thus, importantly, has an element of truth.


He displays additional Jaw Confessional signal just before he says, "... That IS a lot..." ( during 11:27 - 11:28)


And another jaw confessional just after he says, "That's why I figured I did so much I could leave now ..." (11:37 ).

Note also during 11:35 (notated above by the § symbol, as he says, "why" ["That's why I figured I did so much I could leave now"]), President Trump shrugs both shoulders. Shrugging (which may be performed with shoulders, hands, thumbs, eyebrows, forehead, knees, feet, etc.) indicates the thought-emotions of:

• I don't know
• I don't care
• What does it matter?
• What could I do?

The President is rationalizing out loud. This is a glimpse at the man behind the curtain (albeit a rather thin one). As this nonverbal signal is not able to be captured in a still image, please watch the video to see this dynamic. 

SUMMARY:  When Donald Trump goes off script, he's very often confessing, projecting, and/or lying.

Moreover, careful observers will note - there's an element of truth in every joke - and in this example, it's substantial.

Donald Trump's verbal, paralanguage, and nonverbal behavior during this portion of his speech on Thursday 15 November 2018, indicates that he is considering resigning the office of the Presidency of the United States.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4360: GE's CEO Larry Culp's CNBC Interview and Subsequent Stock Sell-off

Body Language Analysis No. 4358: Donald Trump, Pseudo-Christianity, and the Not-So-Subliminal Cross

Body Language Analysis No. 4356: Donald Trump: "When I can, I tell the truth"

Body Language Analysis No. 4354: Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

Body Language Analysis No. 4352: Donald Trump, Mohammed bin Salman, and Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Body Language Analysis No. 4333: Ivanka Trump's response to Robert Mueller and Trump Tower Meeting

Body Language Analysis No. 4327: Trump and Putin just prior to Helsinki Press Conference

Body Language Analysis No. 4309: The Little Girl in Red, "Tender Age" shelters, and Empathy

Body Language Analysis No. 4295: Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos, and Red Flags


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Friday, November 16, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4360: GE's CEO Larry Culp's CNBC Interview and Subsequent Stock Sell-off • Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




On Monday 12 November 2018, GE's CEO, Larry Culp gave an interview on CNBC. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of that exchange and some recommendations and ideas I would propose if he were one of my private clients.

In a business setting, with rare exception, a man should always wear a navy or black suit. Even light grey suits should be avoided, let alone plaid, or beige. Only navy and black suits command the highest authority, rapport, and influence. Mr. Culp should also opt for a solid-colored shirt (white or blue) with a tie. For the fashion-forward, this may seem very vanilla - but in a professional setting, this conservative color-scheme is important and proven.

Culp is the CEO of a cutting-edge corporation and his appearance - including his haircut should reflect a forward-looking fashion. No one expects him to be a model, but with respect to fashion, Culp's hairstyle is 1970esque.

Throughout this whole interview, Larry Culp's voice cracks and is a bit gravelly. Along with his dry throat caused by anxiety, he also displays a multitude of very noticeable hard-swallows. These are often associated with Culp stuttering and stammering.

In addition, Mr. Culp often performs a lip/tongue-smacking maneuver associated with his hard-swallowing/stuttering-stammering. These have a tic-like quality.

This cluster of hard-swallowing, gravelly voice, stutterings-stammerings behaviors is secondary to his high level of anxiety - a pattern quite prominent in both amplitude and frequency. It's a real red flag. Any layperson or shareholder would look at this pattern/characteristic alone and correctly interpret that this is a nervous man who's bit off more than he can chew.

Another noteworthy pattern throughout the interview is that Larry Culp's verbal responses seemed as if he was responding as a politician. He should have initially answered definitively - following up with an explanation. Instead, Mr. Culp, like a lot of people with lower confidence, less experience, and/or who are relatively educated/cerebral - does not give a decisive answer, but rather, first delves into a more lengthy explanation. Responding to questions in this manner tends to lose listeners and importantly - makes Culp look weak, wishy-washy, and sometimes dishonest. In contrast, I would highly recommend he respond with, "Yes, and here's why ..." or "No, but let me elaborate on that ...", or "That's not completely clear, but here's what we're going to do ..."

Many times, the GE CEO responded to questions in a manner which seemed to deliberately set a low bar, indicating his diminished confidence and feelings of instability. Taken alone, this sends signals of strong pessimism and trepidation - and thus, it's no surprise that shareholders responded with a sell-off. (e.g., "This is a challenge of a lifetime given where we find the company today" [When asked why he took the job as CEO], "Well, we have to prove that out" [in response to the question, "Can you attract the people you need to?"], "We are working very hard with the power team to get a better grounding in our reality" [A non-answer answer], "Very much, a sense of urgency David" [in response to, "Are you going to quicken the pace of asset sales at this point? Is there a sense of urgency?"], etc.).


You may have noticed the way Larry Culp was sitting. Captain chairs - particularly a design which are narrower as these appear to be are not recommended. While having armrests on chairs is important for the person being interviewed - if the chair is too narrow and especially if the armrests are relatively high - it forces the arms in an awkward configuration - causing the elbows/forearms to rest to high. This, in turn, causes the shoulders to hunch and upper back/neck to tighten - leading to increased anxiety and a substantially more beta appearance. Mr. Culp should exert more control of the interview process. Surprisingly, although this was conducted in GE's office (home field advantage is always wise and should be prioritized), the interview set design was less suboptimal. Culp should instead use a chair which is a bit wider and with lower armrests.

Mr. Culp should sit forward on the chair a few inches - such that his back and his buttocks are not touching the back of the chair. A slight forward lean with one's back - nothing dramatic, perhaps 10º - 15º is recommended. When we're fully engaged and enthusiastic in a conversation (or film) - and if we want to build influence and rapport - we should lean and position ourselves slightly forward in the chair.


President Obama, while overall very adept with his nonverbal skills - also sat too far back in chairs and in addition, he often distanced himself further by crossing his legs in a European-style. This configuration is one reason why some of his critics thought him aloof.


If a man sits with his legs (thighs) spread very widely, this is colloquially referred to as "Manspreading" (technically termed "Seated Crotch Display" - à la Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin).


(Note how Viktor Yanukovych and his legs are acquiescing while and Vladimir Putin shows him who holds the power)

The manspreading hyper-alpha seating style is offensive - and an approach that's certainly not recommended. Mr. Culp, however, goes a bit too far in the opposite direction, for his upper legs (thighs) are configured in a relatively beta manner - parallel and facing directly forward (and perhaps even slightly knock-kneed), rather than spreading moderately (e.g. ~ 25º - 30º). Sitting further back in the chair (particularly with the chair design seen here) prevents this approach - while forward sitting with moderate leg-spreading will up-regulate Culp's psyche and make him feel (and appear) more alpha, powerful, assertive, and confident. Intriguingly, it will also engender a greater fluidity to his speech.


This is a hand position which should be avoided but is engendered by keeping the elbows resting on the armrests one's chair. It projects feelings of a hidden agenda (and conjures up images of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons).


Charles Montgomery Burns ("Mr. Burns", who, coincidentally, is the owner of a Nuclear Power Plant).

While interviewers are used to the relatively close proximity one typically sits when conducting such interviews, most interviewees are not. This often makes them feel uncomfortable - as sometimes the interviewer encroaches into the interviewee's personal space. Thus, to partially alleviate this effect, the small table to the side of Culp's right leg should be removed from the set.


Matt Lauer used to routinely cross his legs in a European-style and he would often touch his foot against the interviewee as an intimidation tactic. Among other things, this is a strong signal of narcissism.

Notice too, Mr. Culp's foot and leg placement. With one leg/foot forward, and the other positioned a bit backward - it causes increased anxiety and lower confidence during an interview. Moreover, shareholders and the average onlooker will sense the lower confidence of a person seated this way. Depending on what the rest of the body is doing, this telegraphs the impression that a person wants to leave (like a date who is anxious to depart) - which is true with respect to this interview. The audience may also subconsciously take it as a sign of an ominous corporate forecast. He should have both feet flat on the floor, with equal forward positioning.

Larry Culp should also slow down the pace of his speech. In doing so, he would better control the tempo of the interview. By answering quickly, he displayed anxiety and his diminished confidence (this also has a feedback effect of decreasing his confidence even further). Speaking more slowly would also lower the tone of his voice slightly, which would serve to up-regulate his alpha qualities (internally, with his own psyche - as well as from the point of view of onlookers).


David Faber in the midst of a pen-surrogate-finger-point-hand-chop

Larry Culp's staff should have asked in advance who was going to interview him and then reviewed his idiosyncrasies and prepared Larry accordingly. David Faber (Culp's interviewer here), has the habit of holding a pen in his right hand and gesturing forward with it - in what is known as a surrogate-finger-point-hand-chop. This hyper-alpha dynamic is aggressive and intimidating. Unfortunately, there are a few news personalities for whom this as a staple of their interviewing style - despite it being a universally offensive gesture (slightly better than an index-finger-point-hand-chop [when no pen/pencil is used]). Culp's assistant should have performed their prep work and, a few days prior, asked Mr. Faber not to use this gesture (and with a friendly reminder just prior to the interview).


Beginning at 13:16 in the video, Mr. Faber asks Mr. Culp, "Are you hampered at all in the marketplace by a deteriorating credit rating and by perhaps the longer-term concerns of some of those customers?" During this question, particularly the last portion, Culp is nodding up-and-down (in the affirmative). This body language is completely disparate from his verbal answer. Whenever the verbal and the nonverbal responses contradict each other - it's the nonverbal display which is telling the truth. Thus, Culp's verbal response here is misleading at best, and with high-likelihood, indicative of deception (Please watch the video, as the dynamic nature of this gesture cannot be captured in a single image).

Mr. Culp should avoid the use of the word "folks" - this is both a dated and Americanized colloquial.

Larry Culp dramatically over-uses the word "frankly" in this interview. This is a term he should eliminate from his vocabulary. Its use is a red flag, for very often it signals a lack of full disclosure and an attempt at manipulation. Most people associate its use with dishonesty and a patronizing tone.


Culp repeatedly smiles out-of-context - this example occurring during 15:07 - just as he says "Nobody's happy" ("... Nobody's happy with, with [stutter] where we are today ..."). As this nonverbal display contradicts his verbal language, people will accurately interpret it as insincere and view Culp with suspicions.


In this moment, captured during 14:14, we can see Culp blushing. This occurs as Faber remarks that in the past, the conglomerate model of GE was viewed as a positive quality - but it now appears to be "going the other way". Culp's smile in this instant is sincere - and his accompanying blushing (a sincerity amplifier) in this context connotes true embarrassment.


Another interesting moment was displayed at the 3:00 mark as Culp's right eyebrow elevates as he says "through asset sales" ( "... we need to bring the leverage down and I think we've got plenty of opportunities through asset sales ...). This unilateral eyebrow/forehead elevation (assuming the entire forehead is fully functional, e.g., no Bell's palsy, no asymmetrically applied Botox, etc.) is indicative of doubt. (Ergo, Larry Culp does not truly believe that asset sales will sufficiently lower GE's leverage). 

Larry Culp displays a multitude of unilateral eyebrow elevations while answering Faber's questions. Even a person with no body language training will easily and subconsciously interpret this as a person who is doubting their own words.


A split-second later (still during 3:00), Culp's left eyebrow and forehead twitches. This microexpression - conveys an additional level of doubt.

Immediately after this Culp displays a Hard-Swallow (one of many he commits during this interview) and smacks his lips. This is evidence of his dry mouth and throat - consistent with his elevated anxiety.


Another second later (during 3:01), we see Culp display a Loose Tongue Jut - indicating the thought-emotion of "I've been bad", "I've just done a stupid thing", and/or "I've been caught". Although most people would not notice this signal or interpret it accurately, it's highly consistent with Culp disbelieving his own statement.

SUMMARY: Larry Culp's nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage (vocal qualities, cadence, rhythm, pitch, etc.) behavior during this interview indicates that his confidence level is low and he has a significantly heightened level of anxiety. He doubts a significant number of his own answers during this exchange. Mr. Culp's emotions are not simply being felt within the context of this televised interview, but also toward GE's prognosis in the near and mid-future.

With very high probability, Larry Culp's low confidence and anxiety clearly displayed during this interview led to GE's stock sell-off.

Larry Culp is not Tony Hayward - and GE's stock sell-off is not BP's Gulf Oil Spill. Yet Culp and Hayward would both have been well-served by ongoing media training. Such preparation is an integral component of the communication and PR skills needed to run a fortune 500 company - and a comprehensive approach to crisis management.

There's a high probability that Larry Culp's tenure at GE will last less than two years.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4359: Trump and Putin in Paris


Body Language Analysis No. 4357: Donald Trump's response, "What a stupid question"

Body Language Analysis No. 4355: Comparing Donald Trump and the Tree of Life Synagogue to Ronald Reagan and the Challenger Disaster

Body Language Analysis No. 4353: The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi and Trump's Defense of Saudi Arabia 

Body Language Analysis No. 4351: Donald Trump Stops Anthony Kennedy in His Tracks 

Body Language Analysis No. 4339: Pre-Confession Interview of Murderer, Chris Watts

Body Language Analysis No. 4308: DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's most Telling Expression

Body Language Analysis No. 4286: Aaron Schlossberg's Racist Rant

Body Language Analysis No. 4278: Jaws - "You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat" - vs. A Real Shark Encounter on a Paddleboard


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