Friday, July 29, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3638: Hillary Clinton's DNC Speech - and One Expression Which Profoundly Lowers Her Likability (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Hillary Clinton's likability and trustworthiness are polling parameters which have been discussed heavily during the last 18 months. Many pundits will argue, in a left-brained, logical fashion that relying on likability is a poor way to pick a President. And yet we are human. Personality matters. It's bad advice to ask a person to put aside their instincts. And while no one's instinct's are 100%, learning to trust your instincts is of profound importance. So likability matters. Likability matters a lot.

One expression that we should almost never use (but Hillary Clinton did excessively last night during her Presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention) is that where our eyelids are opened wide, with eyebrows lowered (or at a neutral, baseline position) with the forehead muscles relaxed (not contracted). This is an expression indicative of a high level of anger (rage). If you use it too frequently (which doesn't take much), people will rapidly become alienated.

Granted, if you were in Hillary's shoes, you have reason to be angry. Few could stand the mudslinging that accompanies seeking political office - particularly the Presidency.

But if you appear angry too often - even if you're saying 'all the right things' - it will be interpreted (consciously or unconsciously) as emotional dissonance - and it will destroy rapport, not build it. This is a nonverbal absolute and is true regardless of one's gender.

This expression also tends to creep people out. In Hollywood (to the point of even for decades included in cartoons), and in the real-world, this "Eyes Wide Open" - with the brows down or neutral - and the forehead relaxed - is a red flag. Keep away.

It's very important to note that this facial expression should not to be confused with another - which to the casual observer may appear identical or very similar - but it's not. The second expression is this: eyelids wide open, eyebrows up and forehead contracted (image immediately above). Hillary also displays this second facial expression often (far too often) - and although this expression - when used too frequently is also very much not advised AND also rapport destroying, it's indicative of a completely different emotion (do you know which ones?).

Secretary Clinton, was of course, amp'ed up and full of adrenaline. This may be one cause which would give rise to the second expression (elevated forehead and eyebrows) - but not the first (eyebrows neutral or down and forehead relaxed). Whenever a person is so far from emotional baseline, the ability to accurately assess their own body facial expressions - as well as those of other people - is greatly diminished.

Take home point: If you're an office holder, seeking political office, giving a speech or in any position of leadership, sales, teaching, etc., - stop using this nonverbal expression. Immediately. If Hillary Clinton wants to build rapport, trustworthiness and likability, she'll never succeed unless she stops projecting this facial expression.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3637: President Obama's Speech at the DNC, Hillary Clinton and Anxiety

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3632: Hillary Clinton formally introduces Tim Kaine as her VP Choice 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3627: Donald Trump regarding President Obama & Shooting of Baton Rouge Police Officers, "But you just look at the body language - there's something going on" 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3610: Star Swain sings The Star-Spangled Banner at the Lincoln Memorial - Why Do Singers Close Their Eyes? 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3602: Samantha Cameron's Beta Behavior - How Not to Stand Beside the Prime Minister

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3564: Kanye West, Ellen and Beta Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3523: Jaws - "You're Going to Need a Bigger Boat"