US President Trump and Russia President Putin met for the first time at the G20 Summit in Germany earlier today. Millions of people were analyzing very little movement of these two world leaders to find any traces of tension.
Let's start with their handshake. When Trump typically extends his hand for a handshake, you'll notice that his thumb is up and his pinky is pointed down, which is the usual hand placement. However, he did something interesting today. With Putin, when Trump extended his hand, his palm faced up. This gave the appearance that Trump was handing the power to Putin in that moment. Which is a bit of a head scratcher unless it was strategic on Trump’s part to momentarily down play his power to ultimately get what he wants. But, when you look at the grip of the handshake, you’ll notice that Trump’s grip appears tighter than Putin’s. This suggests that Trump took back a bit of his power in the grip. In my opinion, this handshake could have been a nonverbal chess match.
Before President Trump started talking to the press, Putin showed happy feet and happy lips. Putin toes rose up in the air, which suggests that he feeling good, pretty confident. And Putin even smiled.
There were moments when Trump and Putin’s body language were in sync and mirrored each other. Notice the rounded shoulders and look at the way they were sitting in the chairs – taking up space.
Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.