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Hand Movements
Welcome dear participants to the 3rd module of the 3rd week.Today we would look at the interpretations associated with the movement of hands as wellas fingers.All of us have a broad understanding of the meanings and interpretations of our movementof hands as well as the way our fingers act in different situations.There are situations when the movement of hand can reinforce our meaning or negatedat moments.Sometimes we can use our hand gestures independent of words and sometimes they may modify themeaning of words.They are in ubiquitous feature of our everyday life.Most of the time we find that hand movements like the rest of the body language aspectare involuntary, but at the same time there may be certain voluntary gestures which wecan deliberately use to communicate a particular emotion or a feeling to the onlooker.The most common hand gestures are when we try to call somebody indicating the personto come close to us or when we ask somebody to wait or we ask somebody to go away.These hand movements as well as similar other perform a social function.At the same time like other aspects of our body language which we have already discussed,for example, our facial expressions through the eyes as well as through our mouth, ourhands also reflect the emotional state.At the same time we also have to be aware that cultural variations in the interpretationas well as in the allied usages of a particularly common hand movement are also there.There are certain countries and certain cultures in which there is relatively more emphasison the movement of hands.In a way we can say that hand movements have taken the place of punctuation in language,in certain situations they regulate turn taking during any conversation event.It is said that Italians and the French are the leading users of what has come to be knownas hand talking, because in these cultures normally we find people gesticulating more.Gesticulating with hands and other different types of hand and finger movements are relativelyless seen in a country like England, where using ones hands too much during the speechis still considered to be inappropriate and rude.In a country like Italy as well as in certain other countries if a person raises the hand,it is customary to give the floor to that person so that he can speak.At the same time we find that in almost all the cultures the listeners listen with handsby the side or hands folded politely.Therefore, raising our hand has come to be known as seeking permission or getting onceturned to his speak and normally we find that in almost all professional situations, a raisedhand is often considered to be a desire to begin our speech or begin our participation.Another common gesture which is often involuntary, but can also be done in a voluntary fashionis rubbing our palms together.Normally we can understand it as a positive gesture, a gesture of expecting somethingpositively.We can trace the social and cultural origins of this gesture in the gestures of a dicethrower.A dice thrower who rubs the dice between his palms in order to expect a positive winningstreak; over the passage of time the speed with which a person rubs the palm togetherhas come to indicate a positivity or a negativity.A slow palm rub appears rather crafty or devious and it is related with scheming mind and onebecomes uneasy in the presence of a person who has a tendency to slowly rub the hands.On the other hand a quick rub normally indicates an enthusiasm, a pleasure a happy tilting,for example, a friend might have received some good tilting and therefore, would liketo pass it on with rubbing palms together.Similarly we find that in sales people this type of a quick hand rub is perceived whenthey feel that a deal is almost completely finalized.Open palms are traditionally a gesture of trustworthiness.Over the course of history in different cultures, open palms were equated with the absence ofany weapon which a person might be carrying in his hands.And this cultural aspect has come to be associated with our archetypal understanding of honestybeing associated with open palms.When a person initiates a dialogue with open palm or uses the open palm gesture duringthe conversations frequently, he or she is able to establish a positive rapport withthe listener.The open palm gesture in this sense is unconscious; however, we have also come across people whotrain themselves in the use of this open palm gestures.The normal understanding is that if during the dialogue, you are able to perceive onepalm as being open as well as both palms as being open and tending towards upward, itis normally considered to be a sign of truthfulness and honesty.On the other hand those people who are able to practice this gesture and are able to useit in an intentional manner often use this gesture to receive others so that they canpass on a lie within open palm and this lie would be trusted by most of the people.Palm down and chopping movements are also relatively common gestures in our professionalcircumstances.A downwards indication of palm is associated with the tendency to dominate others.In our discussions of handshake we have seen that a thrust downward movement of the palm,suggest the desire to dominate the other.During our dialogue, this down palm gesture also suggest a confidence and at the sametime if it is slightly tilted in this fashion it also conveys a simultaneous rigidity.A palm which is downward, however, with fingers which are straightened, indicates a senseof authority a dominance and defiance.Even in those interactants who are on an equal footing, this type of gesture indicates thatthe person is not willing to concede and has already made up his or her mind.If we associate this palm down gesture with a chopping action, then it indicates as wecan, obviously, understand an emphatic disagreement and this disagreement is passed on in an authoritativemanner.However, the chopping movement if one is not careful enough to use it along with certainother positive and assertive gestures can often be understood as being an aggressiveone.Here we have an interesting analysis of the palm and hand movements of certain celebritieswhich would further help us to understand this analysis.First thing I want you to do with Chris Evans here is pay attention to how he reveals hispalms.Did you move into your home your family did you live?I mean kind of I did you know I.Growing up.I do spend a lot of time back.So, first thing to notice is that his palm is open and available for the audience tosee from the get go on he continues to do this.Just a little bit of nuance here this is not a hard and fast rule, but if you place palmout and down, people tend to understand this as more authoritarian like you are givinga command.If you extend your palm out and up people see this more as a request like you are invitingthem to do things.In either case you are better off revealing your palms than not from an evolutionary perspectivewhat this shows people is that you have nothing to hide you are not trying to do them harmthis is a true across many many cultures.So, Jeff crossed hands on the lap.So, the first thing pay attention one for no use of like make in the palms available,second for flimsy fingers and wrists and then third tip today is to avoid ticks you aregoing see that Jonah has a tick where he constantly touches his tie.He is moving.Yeah he . So, this is not to say that Jonah is not tellinga good story or making people laugh, we are actually talking just about hand gesticulationstoday.So, focus on that, but not he has not yet revealed his palms and he will do very littleof that.So, pay attention to this contrast this with Chris Evans very open available palms andstrong fingers to see what Jonah has going on with his wrists which it is kind of flimsyit kind of just shakes there.But coloring the first treatment for the first one, the first thing we wrote on paper waswe want the guy who the police, to play the police captain and when he say yes.You see what is going on with his fingers he had this weird shape going on because thereis not any really muscular tension going on in his finger.And when he say yes I magic Johnson nice my childhood.And his wrist is bent backwards here, again its great show you palms, but if your wristis bent you actually come across as more flimsy.Here is.Yeah.This was so, cool I probably ignored him with every NWA ice cube three kings Friday.Here he actually does a little bit better he is got some tension going on in his wrist.Often we come across a particular gesture among people, when they are sitting or sometimesstanding over their hands clenched together in different positions.Either they can clench the hand and hold them in their palm in front of the table all theycan use the clenched hands to support their chin.Sometimes it can be treated as an indication of confidence, because most often we findthat people use it along with their smile.However, we find that it shows a restraint attitude.An attitude which does not want to become very open and at the same time it may alsohave certain anxiety or it may also indicate certain negativity.It is a favourite gesture of Queen Elizabeth when she is on royal visits and public appearances,and usually we find that her hands are positioned in her lap.Research by Negotiation Experts Nierenberg and Calero has showed that it is also a frustrationgesture when used during a negotiation, it signals that a person who is using it is holdingback either a negative information or possesses and anxious attitude.It is also a position which is assumed by those who feel that they are either not convincingto the other person or think that they might be losing the negotiation altogether.The clenched hands may have three different positions these three positions have beenlisted by Allen Pease.Hence as we have seen earlier clenched in front of the face, hands clenched restingon the desk or on the lap and while standing hands clenched in front of the body.In these hand clenched movement there are a couple of things which we have to be carefulabout.For example, the height at which the clenched hands have been held together.If they are clenched together in a higher position then we can understand at the negativityas well as the barriers which exist between the two are higher.Another aspect we have to be aware of is the tension which is reflected through the gripin our fingers.If the fingers are very tightly held then it suggests some type of negativity a suppressedanger or anxiety which the other person does not want to show.On the other hand if the hands are only loosely clenched and fingers do not display any unnecessarypressure, we can understand that it is either a restraint or a common courtesy to keep theother person at a certain distance.I can highlight this aspect by using these two public figures; the photograph of theformer Russian president Dmitry Medvedev as well as that of Sir Winston Churchill, theformer British prime minister.Medvedev has indicated three negative aspects of body language in this single photographand all these rates of body language are the ones we should be avoided in our formal situations.He has clenched his hands in an elevated position, we suggest a level of frustration which heis unable to hide.His hand is also tilted downwards and his eyes are also downcast and this interpretationis consistent with the interpretation of frustration which we can understand on the basis of theclenched hands.Another aspect is that his mouth has been covered which is indicative of a possibledeception or a desire to create a certain barrier between himself and the other people.You would find that people who look at this particular photograph would not be able tohave a very positive interpretation of Medvedevs body language.It can be contrasted with a body language of Winston Churchill.Winston Churchill is speaking with open hands and open palms and this openness suggestshis confidence and his capability as well as his desire to establish interaction anddialogue with the other people.In public figures the role of the body language becomes very important.For us normal professionals, we find that the role of body language is important inall face to face exercises participation during meetings participation, for students duringthe group discussions, making presentations etcetera.Sometimes we find that the hands can be clenched in the center position.It is usually done by a person when he or she fails to convince the other person oris too anxious about what is likely to be the reaction of the other people.In this photograph of former Argentinean president Christina Kirchner, we find that is similarmid position of clenched hands has been displayed.While talking to a person particularly when you are trying to negotiate for certain thing,it is important that we incorporate certain strategies somehow to ensure that the clenchedhands position is undone.Only if the hands are loose we can mitigate the barriers which exists in that situationas well as can be hopeful of a positive conclusion of the dialogue we can call for a tea break.We can pass on certain visuals we can pass on certain papers so, that the person is forcedto open the hand grip and the hand movements can be freer.Other photograph of Winston Churchill also suggests a mood which is very different fromthe one displayed in the previous slide.We find that he has thrust his hands into his pockets and he is talking into microphonesand this gesture alone indicates the absence of the desire to share things with other people.The third position of clenched hands can be when we are holding hands in this manner infront of our body.We find that a lot of people normally adopt this position while they are is standing,particularly those people who are not in a position of a leader.Sometimes we can also say that some people find it a comfortable posture, but in professionalsituations we find that this type of a posture indicates a subservience.It is not a naturally confident position people may feel subconsciously threatened or theymight be aware that they do not have any say in a given moment.Particularly in a group if a couple of people have held their hands clenched in front ofthe body, we find that all of them are on the same footing whereas, if there is a leaderin the group we would find that his hand position would be different from this.In comparison to hands clenched in front of the body, we find that a person who displaysleadership traits follows a different hand position automatically.We can look at this particular position where hands have been held behind the back.This position of hands indicates superiority, confidence and power.This gesture is very common among leaders, social figures, royalty.It is also used by those people who are wielding certain authority in a given position.For example, the principal of a school taking grounds in the corridors, senior militarypersonnel, looking at the parade policemen patrolling the beat etcetera.Allen Pease has commented that this particular position is very popular with the duke ofEdinburgh as well as certain other male members of the British royal family who are notedfor their habit of walking with their head up chin out and one hand holding the otherhand behind the back.In this particular photograph, we find that though the hands are held behind the backstill it is not a palm to palm grip rather the hand is holding the arm.This aspect also indicates a lack of certain openness and a certain reservations aboutthe situation.Despite this indication that a barrier may be present in the attitude of this individualwe find that it suggest is certain authority is sense of superiority confidence and power.Because the person has exposed the vulnerable body parts and in evolutionary terms we canunderstand it as having no fear of attack in that situation and therefore, it displaysa fearless and superior attitude in front of the other people.In the previous slide we have referred to a hand gripping the arm.The hand may grip the wrist when we are holding our hands behind our back or it can also holdour arm.Despite the different associations one thing which is common in all these gestures is thatthey are an indication of a person who feels in control.A routine palm in palm gesture where hands are very loosely held behind our back, whichis always an indication of not only control, but also of a relaxed attitude, the hand grippingwrist or the hand gripping arm is an indication of certain deliberate attempt at self control.It can also indicate frustration.In the first photograph we see that one hand has gripped the other wrist tightly behindthe back as if in an attempt by one arm to prevent the other from striking out.The higher the one hand moves to grip the opposite arm the more the person is frustratedor angry or disappointed in the given situation.It can often be observed in those people who have to tensely await the outcome of a particularsituation.If as a speaker in any event or as a participant you suddenly become aware that you are displayingthis particular body posture, it would be advisable to change it to a relaxed palm inpump behind your back gesture and immediately you would feel that you have a better controlof the situation.Another commonly held position of hands is that of folded hands.It looks contained and controlled, but at the same time, studies show that instead ofdemonstrating confidence.This gesture actually indicates our frustration or hostility and signals that the person isholding a negative attitude.In fact, the person is figuratively holding the negative attitude in his hands and hisunwilling to leave it aside.In those situations when we find that the speaker has opted for this hand gesture.It would be advisable to use certain strategies and tactics so that the grip can be loosened,and only then we find that a positive dialogue can ensue.Another commonly held hand position is that of steepling.Steepling is different from the clench of hands.Very often it is used in a superior subordinate interaction; it indicates confidence in aperson a certain self assurance.At the same time we find that steepling is independent of clustering with which mostof our hand movements are associated.In many situations we find that people who are at a superior position and people whoare confident ensure of themselves off for this type of a hand position or some typeof a variation to signal their self assurance.We can look at certain variations, the steeple can be high or the steeple can also be low.But one thing which is common in all these steepling positions is that that the fingersdo not display any tension in the grip.It should be avoided by those people who have to be persuasive or win the attention of theother person.Because sometimes we find that the steepling can also be understood as a mark of arroganceor smugness; particularly if it is not associated with positive facial expressions.Steepling can be raised or lowered as we can see in this diagram.The first person who brought our attention to it was Professor Ray Birsdwhistell.He noticed that people who normally do not engage in animated body language that is peoplewho do not use lot of gestures in their conversations normally use this steeple and then he alertedus to these two different variations or versions of raised and lowered steepling.The raised steepling, as we have already seen, is an indication of the self assurance ofa person.Even though it is not associated with clusterings, it should be used in a judicious manner.Used too often, we find that it can be understood as 毛a know it all attitude铆 and the personusing it can be understood as a smart person.The lowered steeple is used by people when normally they are listening to something insteadof speaking.The use of steeple during conversation indicates interest as well as a readiness and a willingnessto interact.It is also important that fingers do not show any tension in this gesture, if the fingersare tense then it can be understood easily as a negative gesture.Here we can look at an analysis of the steepling behavior.How it is important and relevant to understand this behavior in our routine professionallife.One of the displays of confidence that we have the most powerful one is this, is thesteepling behavior.And we find that people who really feel confident and positive about something tend to steeple.We do not often see this for instance with people who are being deceptive, it tends togo away right when one at that point when there they are being deceptive.Similarly, we find that an interesting analysis of some common hand movements and their meaningsand interpretations are succinctly given in this video.This is probably the only gesture that can be interpreted without looking at the situationor other gestures, it means that the person knows what he is talking about and it showshigh intellect.When the hands are steepling up it shows that the person is giving his opinions and whenthe hands are steepling down, it means that the person is listening.This is a very negative gesture that should be avoided if possible.It shows that the person thinks that he knows more than people he is talking to and it alsoshows arrogant attitude.This is a good gesture and it means that the person is very confident and it can also indicatethat, she feels that she is superior to the people, she is talking to you.Here is another gesture that is very similar to the one I have just shown you that hasa completely different meaning.I could not find a more suitable picture for that, but here you can see the boy who isgripping his wrist and that means that he is frustrated and the higher the person gripshis arm the more frustrated or angst.If the hand is closed and is resting on the cheek, often with the index finger pointingupwards; that means, that this person is making a decision.Now, this is a similar gesture to the one I have just shown, but here the hand is nearerto the mouth and the thumb is supporting the chin, which means that the person has negativethoughts about what you are saying.I would close this discussion at this point, in our next module we will take up the movementof the fingers as well as thumb.Thank you.