Sunday, January 19, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2687: Is He a Bully? Chris Christie - Being and Looking Kinder - Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Regardless of what side of the political isle you vote on, few would argue that any politician within a republic (or similar government) benefits from the practice or perception of bullying. Chris Christie is no different. He has of course been accused of being a bully. And whether he decides to run for President in 2016 or he permanently exits from politics after his governorship, he would benefit dramatically from moving away from this - in image or reality. Many things contribute to the behavior of a bully. One is being hyper-alpha in your words, your vocal quality and/or your body language. Interestingly, altering one of these three will tend to dramatically influence the other two. Thus if your nonverbal displays are aggressive - so will your words, your tone, etc.

The World over, index finger pointing is negatively received. Even if you like another person - you don't want them pointing at you. Politicians lose votes this way - yet few realize it. Note that Christie's fourth and fifth digits (ring finger and pinky) are tightly contracted, while his first and third digits (thumb and middle finger) are loose. If his entire hand (except for the pointing index/forefinger) were in a tight fist, this would be "felt" by the audience as even more aggressive. Additionally if his palm were facing down rather than perpendicular to the ground - this configuration would also dial up his alpha display even further.

A much better way to "point" to is with the palm directed upward, fingers and thumb held loosely, without the arm fully extended (only a modest bend at the elbow and shoulder). This projects a person who is open to others ideas and contributions - and yet still conveys strong and effective leadership. If you're in a leadership position, you should seek these qualities in order to build consensus. This body language is an example of an "alpha-beta hybrid" - which are recognized, understood and utilized far too rarely by those who are deemed "leaders".

What goes unnoticed my all but a few, is that when the hands display "kinder" body language, the facial expressions will mirror such emotions. The reverse is also true. In the image above, what does Governor Christie's facial expression convey?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2674: Did Chris Christie Orchestrate Bridge Closure or Cover Up His Subordinates Actions? Body Language Tells Us ....

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2680: Chris Christie's State of the State Address - Body Language Swagger and Sincerity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2673: New Jersey Bridge Closing - Fort Lee, NJ Mayor Mark Sokolich - What His Body Language Says about His Feelings towards Governor Chris Christie

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2685: Amber Heard, Johnny Depp Engaged - When They Fell In Love

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2684: Controversial Sex Ed Poster - A Concerned Parent and a Contemptuous School Official 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2672: Dennis Rodman, Kim Jong Un and the Finger-Point Hand-Chop, Body Language from North Korea

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2668: Ryan Seacrest - Less Offensive Variations on Pointing - Body Language Nuance