Thursday, February 22, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4214: Donald Trump's Listening Session on Preventing School Shootings - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

President Trump held a "Listening Session" on Wednesday. This event was, of course, held in the aftermath of the Shooting on 14 February 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed there (fourteen of them students) and fourteen more were (thus far) non-fatally injured.

From a body language and emotional intelligence perspective, the image above captures the President in a nonverbal display in which he should have NEVER been configured - particularly at an event where such suffering was recent and so profound.

Crossing one's arms - with the hands hidden - projects the beta emotions of defensiveness (defensiveness-related anxiety), emotional discomfort, and low confidence. No leader should ever project these emotions - especially in this context. Over the past several months, the President has exhibited this particular behavior with significant and increasing frequency.

Further observation shows that President Trump crossed his arms in this manner a total of four times during the listening session. Three out of four of those occurrences were initiated when an African-American person was speaking (and 81.6% of the total elapsed time).

One of these arm-crossing events (beginning at 18:54 in the above video) was initiated immediately after an audience member began to discuss the subject of bullying - and its relationship to causing retaliatory violence. Another occasion (the only time during this listening session when the President began crossing his arms when a non-African-American began speaking) happened when the idea was being put forth by one of the victim's brothers which included a suggestion for the free-flow of ideas with no censorship (26:32 - 27:16).

Summary: President Trump's hand-hidden arm-crossing display during the School Shooting "Listening Session" on Wednesday indicates significant defensiveness, emotional discomfort, and low confidence. A dramatically disproportionate percentage (81.6%) of this negative behavior was biased against African-American audience members.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4212: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Responds to Questions about President Trump's Tweet Regarding the FBI and the Florida School Shooting 

Body Language Analysis No. 4210: Rod Rosenstein's Hesitancy to Disclose 

Body Language Analysis No. 4208: Rod Rosenstein and the Indictment of Russians 

Body Language Analysis No. 4203: Mikaela Shiffrin and the R2E2 Expression 

Body Language Analysis No. 4183: Aly Raisman, Larry Nassar, and USA Gymnastics

Body Language Analysis No. 4168: President Trump's Hands - Conspicuous by their absence

Body Language Analysis No. 4167: Gary Oldman, Hugh Jackman, and Compliments

Body Language Analysis No.4156: President Trump's Cabinet Meeting - Crossing Arms and Excessive Motion

Body Language Analysis No. 4152: Ruby Rose and her Mother's (Overgrown) Pig