The Power of Body Language

Reiman, Tonya
January 2008
Power of Body Language - Business Book Summaries;2008, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book Summary
Book Summary
Research in the fields of psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and sociology has found that as much as 93 percent of interpersonal communication is nonverbal, and these nonverbal signals are the most honest and reliable sources of communication. Nonetheless, many people have conditioned themselves not to "listen" and, as a result, they unintentionally send the wrong signals and end up turning people off or pushing them away. The Power of Body Language explains the miracles of the brain's natural communication system, providing principles and techniques for consciously reading nonverbal signals so as to know what others really think. It also illuminates how to control one's own nonverbal signals and communicate only the messages one wants to send. The goal is to help individuals develop a sixth sense-a life-changing, career-saving skill, so that they become "Master Communicators," who understand the body language of all players and can effectively manage the playing field to their advantage. While cultural norms might have some influence on body language, individual temperaments usually have a greater impact on behavior. Some may be genetic, and some not, but they all definitely influence how individuals communicate. According to Reiman, any of these tendencies can be accommodated and, if necessary, improved upon with self-awareness and practice. As long as individuals give themselves plenty of high-quality models to learn from-upbeat friends, positive relationships, confidence-building successes-they will continually become more insightful, more empathetic, and more skilled at body language. The Power of Body Language-"all you need to know to turn every first impression into a 'yes'"-is essentially a "playbook" with exact directions on how to move the body, adjust the posture, and change facial expressions so as to exude attractiveness, charisma, and self-control. These descriptions of all the body language signals and tools, and the explanations of how they work, are quite detailed, and include stories of people whose lives have been changed because they made the suggested adjustments. Throughout, Reiman stresses practice as the key to effectively developing skills so as to make one's body language an instinctive habit that automatically sends out the right signals.


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