Monday, November 28, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3770: Fidel Castro, Ed Sullivan and Mirroring - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)

This image of Ed Sullivan and Fidel Castro was taken on 11 January 1959 in Cuba. It was only ten days after Castro's forces overthrew President Fulgencio Batista. Castro would be officially sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba on 16 February 1959.

From a body language perspective, it's easy to see that both of these men have their arms folded across their chests (as well as several other variations with the surrounding men). Unbeknownst to Castro, this was one of Ed Sullivan's default body language configurations. And if we could travel back in time in our collective DeLoreans, we'd counsel Mr. Sullivan that his arm crossing didn't build him rapport with his audiences. On the contrary, arm crossing is a rapport destroying nonverbal. Excluding the possibility of relatively low temperatures (thus a person trying to stay warm by decreasing their body surface area), arm crossing is not only a significantly beta behavior (in most settings) - but more specifically it projects a low level of emotional comfort, low confidence and  defensiveness. It can be thought of as a method of "Emotional Blocking".

Arm Crossing body language can also be seen when feelings of hostility and/or impatience are present, which, although these are both certainly rapport destroying behaviors - in certain scenarios these emotions can simultaneously be forms of alpha behavior.

Novices of nonverbal communication may be aware of the phenomenon of mirroring. Mirroring is one tool we all naturally use when we're in strong agreement with another person, have affection for them - or with those to whom we're are sexually attracted (these last to circumstances are not suggested here). Mirroring of another person's body language can be performed deliberately (consciously) - or as it's seen much more often, occurring naturally (subconsciously).

Great care must taken when deliberately mirroring another person - so that it's not performed too exactly (whether with respect to another person's exact physical form - or mirroring too precisely in time [performed immediately after another person changes their body language]) - lest they become aware of possible manipulation or clandestine intent.

In addition, many mirroring novices will mimic negative nonverbal behavior without realizing it (as Fidel Castro is doing here) - thus they not only don't build any rapport - they destroy it.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3769: Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3767: Joseph Gordon-Levitt on playing Edward Snowden - but How Do Tom Hanks and Gemma Arterton feel?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3764: Donald Trump's "A Message from the President-Elect"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3558: Mila Kunis Nixes Ashton Kutcher's choice regarding Their Baby's Name

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3756: Amy Adams, Anxiety and Hesitancy to Disclose 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3387: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, The Graham Norton Show and Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3514: Casting Rey - The Force Awakens Bonus Features - Daisy Ridley's Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3522: Felicity Jones in New Star Wars Trailer: "Rogue One" - Body Language Tells 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3403: "Johnnie Walker - Dear Brother" Commercial

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3295: Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Football and Predicting Violent Behavior