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.