Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2473:
Anthony Weiner & Huma Abedin Part III
When Shoulder-to-Shoulder is broken (Video, Photos)

In this third critique regarding New York City Mayoral Candidate, Anthony Weiner's 23 July 2013 press conference, the importance of interpersonal space and body orientation are of particular focus.

Throughout much of this video Huma Abedin did not face the audience - rather she faced her candidate-husband almost as if they were in the midst of an intimate marital discussion. Sometimes her body was oblique and sometimes it was pointed at him perpendicularly. There were even occasions when her body faced her husband and she rotated her neck/head and looked 180 degrees away from the audience. These particular moments were especially revealing.

A few moments later in this press conference, during much of the time when Huma was speaking, Anthony also did not look at the audience but turned his body obliquely towards his wife and gazed at her notes. He thus projected the persona of a patronizing and controlling husband. This feeling was loud and clear to everyone watching - particularly women voters.

The former congressman's arms, which for some time were folded across his chest, transmitted a defensive and closed-off mindset. This body language cluster is a rapport and vote destroyer.

In the context of a this press conference, relative to the audience (whether viewed via video, T.V. or to those present in the room) - Weiner and Abedin can be thought of as essentially one person. This would be true if Huma were Anthony's campaign manager or any of his staff, however it is especially true since they are husband and wife - and were addressing problems which had & have substantial ramifications on their marriage and his viability as a candidate.

In this moment, Huma Abedin is oblique towards her husband-candidate, Anthony Weiner when she should be facing the audience.

Here Huma has moved closer to perpendicular to Anthony, thus giving the audience the "cold shoulder".

There were several occasions when Huma looked completely away from the audience. These moments were particularly reveling.

As Huma reads her prepared statement, the two stand closer than they do at any other time during the conference - although his body position here is done for the wrong purpose. His body should be "shoulder-to-shoulder" with her. Such a nonverbal would have projected a strong solidarity. In contrast, here he appears as a controlling spouse and a puppet master - rather than a loving and trusting husband. This nonverbal cluster does not project Mayoral strength or supportive feelings.

In summary, both Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner should have stood in a "united front" and closer together than typical colleagues would (for they are husband and wife). A shoulder-to-shoulder configuration (with shoulders almost touching) with their hands at their sides or loosely grasped behind their backs with their eyes on the audience would have been much more consistent with strong leadership and a strong marriage.
In the political world the concept of "Likability" is too often left to chance and "winging it". Likability is the single most important factor in winning over the middle one-third of the electorate. And the single most important factor in determining likability is the quality and warmth of a candidate's body language. The same holds true for the courtroom, the boardroom and the sales floor .... How likable are you?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2470:  NYC Mayoral Candidate Anthony Weiner &  His Wife Huma Abedin - Body Language Tells, Part II

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2469:  Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin and the NYC Mayoral Race  Body Language & the Five Burroughs, Part I

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2405:  Anthony Weiner's Running For Mayor of New York  His Body Language & His Sincerity Quotient

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2150:  Body Language Advice for  President Obama and Governor Romney in Tonight's Debate

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 337:  Michele Bachmann's Low Confidence Stance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2137:  Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama - First Presidential Debate - Barack's Bad Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2074:  Mitt Romney and Senator Kelly Ayotte - What Body Language Tells? 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2146:  Biden vs. Ryan Vice Presidential Debates -  Both Candidates Displayed Body Language of Contempt