I thought Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt looked a little tense during their meeting today, and body linguistics expert, Janine Driver, who used to be an officer for the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, agrees. Awkwardness: confirmed.
Here’s a shot of the two men on stage, when they were friendly.
And here are the two shots from today, which she analyzed.
Driver then compared these two with a baseline of 30 other images of Jobs and Schmidt to come to the conclusion that the two are about 33% trustful of each other in terms of body language. And one of these men is scared of the other.
Legs: Janine says that the fact that their legs are crossed and away from each other means they’re closing up, or creating a wall to each other, to protect the groin area. In other photos, she said she’s never seen him cross his leg left over right. Except when being interviewed at D with Bill Gates.
(And when being interviewed at D without Gates, his legs are set apart, in contrast. )
Driver says that’s a major sign of anxiety and mistrust between Schmidt and Jobs. And there’s more.
Arms: The way Jobs hands are up indicate an openness, almost an appeal to Schmidt while he’s explaining himself. The arms, like the legs, can create a wall to the most important indicator of openness between two people, the belly. Driver says that Schmidt’s arms in one photos create a second wall between the two men. Like this, when he’s doing mass hypnosis on everyone:
Faces: The only open vulnerable point is their neck, which is open because they’re, well, speaking to each other. That’s the 33% of openness that Janine Driver is seeing. Which backs up my theory that this is an early talk between the two.
Shoulders: There’s no way to hide it: Schmidt is scared of Jobs. He is rolling his shoulder’s forward to make himself a smaller target, something Driver’s seen in law enforcement when criminals are around the police.
I asked her if there’s any way the table gets in the way and affects the leg crossings, but she says no, backed up by all her years analyzing criminals and teaching cops how to recognize perps without talking to them. Huh. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work at People magazine. Now I know. These interpretations seem to back up the personal animosity we suspected and what the the NYTimes reported, was behind the feud and lawsuit. But who knows.
Janine Driver’s a retired 16-year veteran officer of the US department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who has taught Scotland Yard, the CIA and others about body language. Now she’s a bestselling author of the book You Say More Than You Think.