There is no question that Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, did it “his way” and won the election. But now that he is the President, as a 30 year veteran communication expert, I would like to offer him some very useful advice. I recommend that he tone down “his way” in terms of how he communicates publically. The bragging, self aggrandizement, constant self reference, lack of humility, using over inflated terms terms like “never in the history as anyone…” as it pertains to his achievements needs to stop immediately.
It is starting not to work with friends and supporters and it is definitely not working with foes. It is merely adding fuel to their fire.
The universal rule of communication is humility. No one responds well to a braggart. No one likes to hear someone tell how great they are even if they invested a cure for cancer and solved the national debt. First and foremost, he must STOP constantly talking about himself and bragging on himself and saying how great he is. He needs others to say that about him. He does not need to say it about himself.
While it may have worked with the late boxer Muhammed Ali, it was often tongue and cheek and said with humour. It even worked for Trump when he was a celebrity and entertainer. But as a President, it looks awful when Trump says it about himself. As a world leader, it smacks of arrogance, self absorption, and insecurity. It is just plain bad form.
No matter where you live in the world, there is no doubt you were raised hearing the saying “don’t get big headed” or “don’t get too big for your britches,” don’t brag about yourself” or “Stop showing off .” Most cultures appreciate graciousness and humility, especially when it comes to one’s own achievements.
Yes, self confidence is wonderful and it is essential to have a healthy dose of self esteem and confidence for what you have done, what you are currently doing, and what you plan to do. But Keep it to yourself or only share it with your intimates and very close circle of friends and family. Let people know your achievements but do it humbly.
No one likes a continuous braggart or someone who exaggerates for effect, or who is big headed. It alienates most people and it is off- putting. That is how many physicians who tend to be too full of themselves often end up in trouble with patients and in legal disputes.
Now that he is the President, he needs to keep it less personal and strictly focus on and discuss the issues just as passionately as he talks about himself. He needs to speak less about himself and more about us and how the issues affect us.
TRUMP”S PRESSER CALLING OUT FAKE NEWS
Donald Trump’s recent presser focused on setting the record straight and admonishing the “fake news” and many less than professional journalists. In my view his speech was correct and what he said finally needed to be said. Had I not personally experienced what he is talking about – the spin and negativity, I would have never believed what Trump was saying. But he is absolutely correct in this regard.
MISINTERPRETED TRUMP/ ABE HANDSHAKE AND FACIAL GESTURE
I have been doing countless interviews about the Trump/ Abe handshake all over the world and have been setting the record straight that there was no problem between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe. In fact their body language each showed that they really liked one another. This was indicated by their body language. Trump did the double handshake which shows genuine affection and Abe leaned into Trump and his toes pointed in Trump’s direction, indicating he really liked Trump. He also showed a genuine smile with his apples of his cheeks raised, eyes squinted, and teeth showing.
No one overpowered anyone. As they were equally formidable in their approach. In fact Abe directed the photo op as she told Trump “look at me” which Trump immediately did. They maintained. eye to eye contact as they both had a strong handshake. In fact Trump remarked that Abe had a strong handshake.
When the photo op was finally over and they both broke their strong handshake, Ave looked up ( as though he was searching for someone) and immediately an aide ( in glasses) came over to him. He did NOT roll his eyes at Trump. Japanese people do not do that when they are exasperated or when they are not happy about someone. So the take that journalists had on this was wrong. Many called me to verify that the relationship between Trump and Abe was bad. i told them that is was not and set the record straight. Most journalists were great and reported my take and saw my point of view.
But there were others who simply would have none of it.I found that distressing. When the election was taking place Quartz, a new publication which is an offshoot of the Atlantic Monthly paid me to write a story on Trump and Pence’s handshake and body language which I gladly did.
Several days ago, I got an urgent email from one of Quartz’s writers Selian Cheng who wanted to know my take on the Trump. Abe handshake. The article involved no pay as it was just my opinion. I got back to her immediately with the view I described above. Then never heard back from her. Finally, she emailed me to let me now she found someone else and wanted to use other body language expert to get their different view.
I then emailed her back and asked why she even bothered to contact me in the first place if that was her aim all along as it wasted her time and mine. After reading the article in Quartz which she wrote, it appeared to me in my view that my quote didn’t apparently match her spin of the story which was very anti-Trump and mischaracterized the whole handshake situation,. So she simply got another body language “expert” ( and I use that term loosely) who’s views may have matched her agenda in my view. It saddened me as that is not how I learned to do journalism as a journalism student at the best journalism school in the country, USC.
I felt bad about this so I wanted to share my thoughts with the Editor in Chief of Quartz. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance because his Editorial Assistant Molly Rubin, with whom I shared why I was calling, in what I perceived as a nasty tone, said “thank you very much” and hung up on me. So there you have it! Obviously she didn’t want to hear what I had to say on the matter and with the Toxic behavior she showed me, I doubt anyone got my message or concern.
FUTURE BODY LANGUAGE ADVICE CONCERNING HANDSHAKING
Donald Trump is a man who is very demonstrative and effusive in terms of his affection. He even kissed Pence when Pence was nominated as Vice President.
Many are not used to it, so they are taken aback and they are making a huge deal out of his kissing, handshakes and effusive greetings.
But I can assure you the way he meets and greets is part of the norm in Hollywood and Trump is very Hollywood when it comes to his greetings. People tend to be more open, affectionate and effusive in show business than they are in other businesses. So we tend to be used to this.
Personally, I find it refreshing. If you really like someone , you let it be known. That is what Trump did with Abe, Pence, Trudeau and others he likes. With Trudeau, they not only shook hands, they both embraced shoulders which is an even bigger display of mutual affection. It is NOT by any means a power play when it is mutual. It showed they were on equal footing in terms of their affection towards one another.
Trump doesn’t hide his positive emotions and I say he should continue to do what he is going in terms of being genuine in his meet and greets, which have received world- wide attention.
Apparently many world leaders who are planning to meet President Trump in the future are concerned with how to approach the newly elected President when they meet him. “How can the leader best shake his hand” was the question a Chinese journalist from China’s major newspaper asked me in regard to Chinese President Xi’s upcoming visit to the United States.
I let her know that the best way to approach Trump in terms of his hand-shaking is to mirror him. If he does the double handshake with his hand on top of Xi’s, then Xi, also needs to do the same . This will indicate mutual warmth and affection and will not be read as Trump taking charge or overpowering. I also suggested that Xi match Trump’s strength and firmness in terms of his handshake.
I also suggested that Xi not bold back and be genuine in his feelings, because Trump certainly will hold nothing back. I assured the Chinese journalist during our interview that the body doesn’t lie no matter how hard you may try to control it. The truth always leaks out.