LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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continued on page 14 INTERVIEWING by David E. Zulawski, CFI, CFE and Shane G. Sturman, CFI, CPP Zulawski and Sturman are executives in the investigative and training firm of Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates (w-z.com). Zulawski is a senior partner, and Sturman is president. Sturman is also a member of ASIS International's Retail Loss Prevention Council. They can be reached at 800-222-7789 or via email at dzulawski@w-z.com and ssturman@w-z.com. © 2019 Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. Emblems essentially have a common social meaning within a culture or geographic area, although their meanings can change depending on the country or culture where they are used. Emblems are used intentionally to communicate a message to another. 12 JULY–AUGUST 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM Thought and Gesture: Part 3 I n the first two parts of this series on thoughts and gestures, we looked at gestures that occur in combination with spoken words. These gestures are also sometimes called illustrators as they help the speaker add meaning and context to the words spoken. Illustrators or gestures are shaped by the individualized needs of the speaker and may be unique to that person's communication style. The illustrators or gestures are unconsciously selected by the subject and generally have no meaning on their own but are coordinated with the words to help make the message clear. There are other physical movements people make that are not done to support the actual spoken language. These are pantomimes, emblems, and adaptors. Pantomimes Pantomimes are intentional, symbolic gestures that mimic action and convey meaning independent of language. Playing an imaginary violin while listening to someone's sob story is a sarcastic, unsympathetic, nonverbal response to the story. The message is clearly delivered without any actual words being spoken. Pantomimes can also provide a suggestion to the observer. For example, suggesting someone zip up their coat might be done by grabbing an imaginary zipper and drawing it up from the waist to the chin. Pretending to zip one's mouth closed is asking for or promising silence. Each pantomime is consciously selected by the individual to convey an action without using any words. Much like selecting language to describe an event, a pantomime is consciously selected by the individual to convey a specific meaning to another. It's important for the investigator to note that pantomimes have their own meaning independent of language and that the subject has consciously selected that pantomime to convey a specific meaning to another. Just like the words selected by the individual to describe an event, they are done consciously and should be evaluated as an insight into the person's thinking. Emblems Emblems are learned socially and have a culturally agreed symbolic meaning that can fully take the place of the spoken word. Emblems essentially have a common social meaning within a culture or geographic area, although their meanings can change depending on the country or culture where they are used. Emblems are used intentionally to communicate a message to another. Importantly, emblems take the place of words and should be viewed as part of any sentence of spoken words in which they are included. Many emblems may be included unconsciously since they are used so often. For example, shaking the head no will almost always be included with a denial, although it may be only a partial movement of the head to the side. In a similar fashion, the shrug of uncertainty will accompany the answer that is not definitive. A number of emblems are actively used around the world, some of which have contrary meanings depending on the culture or geographic location. In the United States, placing one's finger vertically across the mouth is an indication to be quiet. Waving the hand palm out and above the shoulder line is an indication of hello or awareness of another's presence. Cupping the hand behind one's ear and leaning slightly forward is an indication that the person is having difficulty hearing another. The shrug is generally interpreted as, "I don't know," or uncertainty of an answer. If someone is asked how many items they have taken and they shrug before responding, "Five," this should be interpreted as, "I don't know. Five?" The offer of five should be more fully explored before it is accepted since the shrug would indicate that they are simply offering an initial estimate that may not have accurately been considered. If an individual was asked whether they broke into the store and they nod yes while saying, "I didn't do it," we have a contradictory emblem that negates the denial of participation in the break-in. On the one hand, the physical behavior of the emblem yes is saying, "I did it," while the words selected have

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