Body-language and nonverbal communication

Facial position instead of facial expression (video) – managers` nonverbal behavior patterns on stage – 3


Facial position instead of facial expression (video) – managers` nonverbal behavior patterns on stage – 3

The Chinese manager talks with a strong voice, expresses directly and clearly what he wants to say. He now and then looks at the moderator and faces him as the important counterpart in this rhetoric structure. It seems that he not really directly seeks for direct (eye-) contact to the audience. He is there on the panel, knows about his role to answer the question and to be there as the invited representative.

Of course he shows facial expression but it seems that this expression is more likely to be his attitude rather than to support his words and his habit of talking, in order to support his words and the for the moment specific meaning.

Facial expression seems for him (and the Chinese culture ?) to be more like a sequence of familiar “facial positions”. With whatever meaning at all. And yet………………………. it is clear that it is quite difficult for a western manager to interpret these “facial positions”. They probably look like a mask for most of the western people. Do they at the same time perhaps remember this stereotype of the non-emotional looking Chinese faces.

I am sure that these “facial positions” are not a mask for Chinese. They function like a mask for western people.

At the same time, you can very clearly see his fingers moving in an automatical manner. It seems that he does not realize this and he is not in control of this.

In difference to the common (western) stereotype that Chinese people don’t show their feelings by facial expression or other elements of body language one could say that this might be true and that is not true at the same time.

It is just different.

One difference is the following:

The Chinese manager stays in the given structure of the panel. If he is asked by someone he answers and looks at him but not to anybody else. If he has to point out his position he talks about it facing the audience as a whole. Not really moving his face.

Of course he shows feelings, his inner state of experiencing the situation. But it is very difficult for western people to judge this from a western point of view.

And still you can be sure that his automatic finger-tipping is a signal of big stress. In opposition to the main (western) stereotype that Chinese managers look and behave and talk like a blank sheet, they also experience certain settings as stress and react under stress.

They also are human beings. Human beings who experience certain settings as stress. This maybe can make them familiar to us because we don`t differ at all facing stress in such structure or setting of intercultural communication.

here is the video example. Don`t listen to the words, just look and get your impression.


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