Research by Nierenberg and Calero on the hands-clenched position brought them to the conclusion that this was a frustration gesture, signalling that the person was holding back a negative attitude. The gesture has three main positions,
People who are confident, superior types or who use minimal or restricted body gestures often use this gesture, and, by doing so, they signal their confident attitude. It is frequently used in superior/subordinate interaction and that it can be an isolated gesture which indicates a confident or ‘know-it-all’ attitude. Managers often use this gesture position when giving instructions or advice to subordinates and it is particularly common among accountants, lawyers, managers and the like. The gesture has two versions,
The thumbs denote strength of character and ego and the non-verbal use of thumbs agrees with this. They are used to display dominance, superiority or even aggression; thumb gestures are secondary gestures, a supportive part of a gesture cluster. Thumb displays are positive signals, often used in the typical pose of the ‘cool’ manager who uses them in the presence of subordinates.