Saturday, September 26, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3322: Pope Francis and Barack Obama - Respect, Deferential Behavior and Body Language (PHOTOS)

When President Obama met Pope Francis on the tarmac earlier this week, he stood with his feet together. In fact, as far as can be visualized in this image, his heels are closer together than anyone's. This is a rare nonverbal configuration for a head-of-state. And while in the vast majority of scenarios this would be one sign of beta behavior significant of lower confidence - in this context it is deferential, out of respect for the Pope.

Note also that Barack Obama's hand is outstretched in a 45 degree, palm-up position - rather that perpendicular to the ground (as would normally be recommended for building rapport). This is also out of respect and yields to the Pope's high status - and allowing Francis to be in a more alpha handshake position.

Despite his fairly nuanced level of understanding, what one piece of nonverbal advice would you offer the President here to improve his rapport-level even further?

What beta (and alpha) body language behaviors are being displayed by the other individuals pictured in this moment?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3318: Barack Obama and Pope Francis

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2314:  Naomi Watts Pre-Oscar Interview and her  Body Language of the "Jaw Confessional" and the Sincerity Quotient

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2829: Respect, Funerals, Memorials and Alpha vs. Beta 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3253: John Kasich Formally Announces His Candidacy for President

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2459:  Was Eliot Spitzer Sincere?  Apology, Sincerity and Body Language