Monday, May 16, 2011

Negotiation Secret # 103:
Facial Hair - Trust, Fear and Intimidation

Rod Beck was an accomplished relief pitcher for the Giants, Cubs, Red Sox and Padres. Like all relief pitchers, he sough to intimidate the batters he faced.  Many relief pitchers seek to do this, in part, with facial hair. In this image, Beck sports a dramatic Fu Manchu mustache. No doubt about it - facial hair intimidates. Those who have it are feared more and trusted less.  The last U.S. President to be elected with any facial hair was William Taft in 1908 and, at least in the U.S., the higher the political office - the less likely a candidate will win if he has any form of facial hair. Children and adults also trust those with facial hair less and a much higher percentage of those entering incarceration have some form of it - when compared with those in the general population.

A mustache, particularly a Fu Manchu, is shaped like a frown - and since they're above, to the sides, and beneath the mouth - mustaches tend to give the impression of a frown, and the corresponding emotions to onlookers.  Most professions would not want to project these feelings, but relief pitching is one great exception.  So while there are plenty of trustworthy, happy-go-lucky, non criminals with mustaches, beards, etc. - it's a STATISTICAL truth that you will be trusted less and feared more if you have any facial hair.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Negotiation Secret # 102: Palm vs. Fingers

When someone has their hand on their chest, this is one detail that you don't want to over-look.  The lady on the left side of this image has a full palm contact with her upper chest-sternum-heart area. This indicates a deep, heart-felt and empathy. This nonverbal has a very high "Sincerity Quotient". In contrast, if you hear someone trying to verbally express empathy, but only their fingertips or fingers make contact with their chest, you should (internally) question their sincerity.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Leadership Secret # 91:
Sincerity and Trust with Pledge of Allegiance

Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd are shown here committing some serious faux pas. When the right hand is not placed over the heart, or with full contact of the palm to the chest during the Pledge of Allegiance - it is interpreted as insincere by those watching. For some reason, Sarah almost never gets the location correct.

When the hand is not in the proper location - often people won't be able to describe exactly what they saw - but this nonverbal warning signal leaves them feeling uneasy and diminishes their trust.

Todd has his hand over his heart, but very oddly, has his hand placed inside his jacket - very reminiscent of Napoleon (whom no leader should ever want to emulate).  When we can't see a person's hands, it leaves us with feelings of mistrust.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Leadership Secret # 221:
Spontaneous Mouth Covering & Empathy - Hillary Clinton and Osama Bin Laden Raid

This is a photograph of Hillary Clinton in the Situation Room of the White House taken during the recent raid on Osama Bin Laden. Cameras were in place on some of the Navy SEALS, and thus there was a vicarious experience for those watching in Washington and elsewhere. Particularly illustrative is Hillary Clinton's image. Her eyes are open mildly wider than baseline indicating surprise merging into fear. In this context, when the mouth is covered, it is indicative of empathy. We do not know with whom she is empathizing - the SEALS or others, but this is a strong and reliable signal of empathy.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dating & Romance Secret # 38: The Facial Platter

This is a classic example of a facial display commonly seen in romance and dating - it is called a "Face Platter" (Pease) and can be seen using only one hand, but it's more common to see two hands used, as is demonstrated here.  It is used almost exclusively by women and gay men.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dating & Romance Secret # 33:
Who is the Dominant Partner?

In this photo of Actors Blake Lively and Penn Badgley holding hands - Ms. Lively is displaying her dominance nonverbally.  It is unusual and even rare to see the woman have her hand in front of her male partner when holding hands. Here, Blake proves the exception. This is a strong dominance display. There can be no doubt who the "Alpha" was in this relationship... and who is the "Beta". Many other body language signals and gestures display dominance - some in the world of  romance - and others in the world of business. Overlook them at your peril.