Sunday, March 5, 2017

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3868: Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, The West Bank and Anxiety - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

From a body language perspective, during Donald Trump's and Benjamin Netanyahu's joint press conference on 15 February 2017, there are many moments of interest - two that share a particular nonverbal are discussed here.

What follows is two, non-contiguous, portions of the Press Conference's transcript, followed by a partial nonverbal analysis.

The time notations are coordinated in reference to the above video version of that event.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: (continuing at 17:43)  

"So I want this to change. I want those two perquisites of peace - substance, not labels, I want them re-instated. But if anyone believes that I, as prime minister of Israel, responsible for the security of my country, would blindly walk into a Palestinian terrorist state - that seeks the destruction of my country, they're gravely mistaken. 

The two perquisites of peace, recognition of the Jewish state and Israel’s  security needs, west of the  Jordan, they remain pertinent. We have to look for new ways, new ideas, on how to re-instate and how to move peace forward. And I believe that the great opportunity for peace comes from a regional approach from involving our new found Arab partners in the pursuant of a broader peace and peace will the Palestinians."

Beginning at 18:12 and until 18:19, as he says, "they remain pertinent. We have to look for new ways, new ideas, on how", Prime minister Netanyahu puts his left hand in his left hip (front) pocket of his pants.

And later in the press conference...

DONALD TRUMP: (finishing his answer, 26:23) "... And you're going to see a lot of love. You're going to see a lot of love. OK? Thank you". 

Finishing his answer, President Trump then turns to Prime Minister Netanyahu

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: "I believe that the, ah, issue of the settlements is not the core of the conflict, ah, nor does it really drive the conflict. I think it's an issue that has to be resolved in the context of peace negotiations. Ah, and I think it also, we also are gonna speak about it, President Trump and I, so we can arrive, ah, at an understanding so we don't keep on bumping into each other all the time on this issue and we're going to discuss this." 

Ah, on the, ah, question you said -- you just came back, ah, with your question to the problem that I said. It's the label. What does (inaudible name ) mean by two states, OK? Wha, what does he mean?

Beginning at 26:32 as he says, "ah",  both of the Prime Minster's hand are inserted into their respective front pants pockets. At 26:45 when he says, "arrive", his left hand comes out. His right hand stays in until 26:59 when Netanyahu says, "back".

When it comes to public speaking, Prime Minister Netanyahu is one of the most experienced Heads-of-State in the World. He's also has a considerably alpha personality. He is naturally, very accustomed to speaking under pressure. Yet, he is, of course, human. And thus he subject to human foibles and physiology - and his body language is no exception.

When a person (highly biased toward the male gender) puts his hands in his pants pockets when they are speaking, it is NOT an attempt to appear suave or confident - rather it signals a heightened level of anxiety. It signals a shift from a relative alpha state - to a more beta emotional tone - and to lower levels of confidence. This is especially true when this nonverbal signal occurs on stage or on-camera. If they are in the midst of speaking, once the hands (or hand) enters into the pocket - you can be sure that the subject which immediately follows elicits thought-emotions of significant anxiety.

It's important to mention that the "hand in pocket" maneuver may occur while the person is listening to another person speak, it is either in response to what they just heard - or what they are about to say in response.

Summary: Prime Minister Netanyahu's nonverbal behavior in the above-discussed segments of the recent press conference demonstrate he has significant anxiety regarding:

1) Coming up with ideas for the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

2) Settlement activity in the West Bank (contrary to his statement)

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3867: What Makes the Twinkle in Her Eye? Emma Stone, Romance and Flirting

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3864: Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick Arguing with an Uber Driver regarding Falling Fares - Escalation v. De-Escalation, Body Language and Emotional Intelligence

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3862: Oscars Mistake - "La La Land" erroneously named Best Picture over "Moonlight"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3837: Donald Trump's Contentious Phone Call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3826: Kellyanne Conway to Chuck Todd, Press Secretary Sean Spicer Gave 'Alternative Facts'

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3796: Bryan Cranston, Donald Trump, Anxiety and Alpha Up-Regulators

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1085: Low Confidence vs. High Confidence - Kennedy and Eisenhower

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3850: Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump and Michael Flynn