Friday, December 6, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2631: Walmart President Bill Simon Regarding Employees Working on Thanksgiving (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

In this interview on last week's Black Friday, Bill Simon, the President and CEO of Walmart U.S. is asked some uncomfortable questions. He goes on to display some significant body language which belies his feelings - and not surprisingly, contradict his words.

Beginning at the 1:12 mark, Mr. Simon is asked, "Bill as the President of a company that prides itself on being family oriented, do you cringe at all about keeping your store open on Thanksgiving? Was that a hard decision for you to make?"

Simon begins his answer at 1:23, "We've been open on Thanksgiving since the 80's. It's ah, it's what we do. We're in the service industry. We, we're open when our customers want to shop. So our people are used to working on Thanksgiving. They, they've been there for, for quite some time. Ah, and ah, so opening a little earlier for us because that's what the industry was, was headed towards wasn't such a big deal. In fact, many of our people got to go home ah, earlier than they would normally go home on, on Thanksgiving night. 

At the 1:17-1:18 mark (as the interviewer says, "... about ..."), the right corner of Simon's mouth contracts very quickly and laterally in a Microexpression of Regret [don't confuse with the somewhat similar (micro)expression of contempt].

It is unclear whether he feels regret about being asked this question (and put on the spot), or if he feels regret about his employees working on a National Holiday. 

At the 1:18 - 1:19 mark (as the interview says "... keeping your store ..."), the Walmart CEO/President displays a hard swallow. This is a clear and very common (yet oft overlooked) signal of anxiety.

Throughout the entire interview, Mr. Simon (who presumably has much experience in front of a television camera) exhibited a significantly increased blink rate - also a sign of heightened anxiety.

It is important to compare the rate of blinking when presumed nervousness is occurring against other times of relaxation - however unless there is ocular pathology present in this example, the CEO blink rate is excessive.

What other nonverbal signals are present in this example?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2626: Rashida Jones's Anxiety regarding YouTube Awards on Jimmy Fallon

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2408:  Sen. Kelly Ayotte's Anxiety & Regret via  Senators Graham & McCain -  Republican Body Language in Response to  President Obama's National Defense University Speech

Nonverbal Analysis # 1820: What Causes David Beckham's Greater Anxiety -  Barack Obama Teasing Him About His Age or His Underwear?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2281:  Inaugural Luncheon Anxiety  Barack Obama's Body Language Michelle's Mirroring

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2621: Matt Smith (11th Incarnation of 'Dr. Who'), Anxiety and American Psycho 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2604: Obamacare Girl "Adrianna" on GMA - Body Language Harbingers of ... 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2493:  Jewel in Disguise at Karaoke Bar,  Body Language Cues to Lack of Nervousness