Saturday, June 18, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3592: Gary Johnson, The Libertarian Party and Beta Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Gary Johnson, the 2016 Libertarian Candidate for President is featured in the above video with Erin Burnett. During the interview, whenever the camera pans out to a wider angle, we can see that the former Governor of New Mexico is wearing his Nike's.

Now if he were campaigning at a state fair or baseball game, it would be very contextual for Governor Johnson to wear athletic shoes - if he also had on jeans and a casual shirt. But in the CNN studio while wearing a suit and tie, he never should have on these shoes. We all like comfort, but appearing in such footwear with a suit during an interview in NO WAY projects presidential power. It is possible that Gov. Johnson was told or believed that the camera would only include his head and torso - yet this two term governor is not a political rookie and should never had made such a mistake. In addition, he should also know that such a casual off-camera persona directly affects the manner in which anyone - including how news professionals will treat him.

Notice also that Gov. Johnson's ankles are crossed. If we were to ask him about this he'd probably say, "Well this was comfortable" - or something similar. Yet with respect to nonverbal communication, in order for one to be physically comfortable, they must first be emotionally comfortable. This is a significantly Beta Body Language configuration. It projects a lower confidence level and tentativeness. Moreover, if alternatively he would have had one foot resting on each of two adjacent legs - along with leaning and sitting slightly forward in his chair - it would have not only looked more action-oriented, confident, strong and assertive, but such body language would have also increased his confidence level along with engendering both the fluidity of the candidate's thinking as well as his speaking (which certainly helps when you're being interviewed on national TV).

Beginning at 4:33, Johnson says, "Well one of my sssstrengths isss that I, I tell the truth ..."

Note the candidate's excessive stuttering during his declaration of honesty. This is a red flag of low confidence, anxiety - and in this context it's highly consistent with deception.

This image was captured during the last moment of him uttering, "truth" - yet Governor Johnson's eyes open very widely along with him elevating the entire width of his forehead. This is the nonverbal equivalent of a person using five exclamation marks when, in moments of sincerity, only one is needed. It's a very common body language example of over-compensatory behavior. Unbeknownst to most politicians and high-level sales professionals this sends signals of INsincerity. It destroys rapport rather than building it.

During a significant fraction of this interview, Gary Johnson has his hands positioned on his lap with the majority of them below the level of the desk. This is a major nonverbal faux pas. At the very least it transmits lower confidence levels and relative timidity. Depending on the other nonverbals with which it is clustered, this can also be indicative of deception. Never commit this error during a job interview - or when you're running for president.

These are just a few of the body language fumbles Gary Johnson made during this television appearance. If the Governor wants to poll above 15 percent - thus allowing him to participate in the debates with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump - he simply can't afford to make these rookie mistakes.

This website serves as an objective reference source for the science and art of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts – not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3591: Jo Cox, The Brexit and Sincere Smiles - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3587: The Orlando Mass Shooting, Omar Mateen and Warning Signs

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3446: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3412: Affluenza Teen Ethan Couch is on the Run

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3381: Ariana Grande, Flirtatious Body Language and the American Music Awards 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3355: Spin the Microphone on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show - Gwen Stefani is very attracted to Blake Shelton

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3583: Donald Trump, Reaching out to Bernie Sanders' Supporters and Insincerity Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3581: Hillary Clinton, Likability and Body Language