57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
We all know the message we see with our eyes doesn't always match the message we hear with our ears. For example, think of the role of a parent hearing their child say they didn't break the lamp, but the child's body language says otherwise. In her new book, THE SILENT LANGUAGE OF LEADERS, Carol Kinsey Goman sums this up with this statement, "body language is in the eye of the beholder".
This very intriguing book defines the subtitle - how body language can help - or hurt - how you lead. The book begins asking the question, "What does leadership look like?" and answers it with a succinct analysis of the 1960 presidential debates (the first televised debates) where Americans viewed a very nervous, defensive and unprepared looking Richard Nixon compared to a very calm, poised and well prepared Jack Kennedy. People who saw the debates on television easily recognized Kennedy as the clear winner, however those who heard the debate on the radio thought Nixon came out ahead.
After developing what leadership looks like, Chapter 2 looks at negotiations and the importance of "engagement", as well as the body language that accompanies engagement or the lack of it. People put on their best "poker-face" when entering negotiations, but Goman teaches other things to look for that a poker-face cannot hide. A big portion of this chapter also deals with how to deal with someone that is disengaged. The chapter concludes with a very valuable set of body language guidelines for negotiators.
Every leader has had to deal at one time or another with leading change. Change can be hard to accept as it forces people out of their comfort zones but chapter 3 teaches how leaders can use their body language to improve buy-in. Effectively creating buy-in revolves around building an emotional connection and developing the WIFFM (what's in it for me) answer.
Next we find a short but very informative chapter on collaboration. Since much of business today is via rich technology such as video conferencing, this can make things such as collaboration more of a challenge than through conventional face-to-face methods. Here you'll find tips useful for all types of collaboration building.
Chapter 6 looks at gender and body language. I found this chapter a fascinating study in gender differences in the workplace. This chapter explains the mars/venus effect in the boardroom.
Many of us today find ourselves working across cultural boundaries. Working With Global Teams bridges many of those boundaries. Here we look not only at cultural differences, but also similarities that span all cultures. The author identifies 7 universal emotional expressions that we will see no matter where we are.
In Chapter 8, Goman brings in a multicultural panel to discuss 8 specific questions. I was amazed at the variation of answers to the questions. These very simple business related questions are also very specific and could save the reader from a very embarrassing situation. "What does it mean to be "on-time" for a meeting?", sounds like a very simple question, but has very differing answers depending on the culture involved. This chapter concludes with a "cheat-sheet" of sorts with abbreviated answers to each of the 8 questions for the 12 countries/cultures of the panelists.
The book concludes with a chapter on the Nonverbal Future of Leadership. Here we learn how Baby boomers changed how business is conducted; how Gen Xers have transformed those rules of business and what we can expect in the way of changes brought on as Gen Yers make their way into the workforce.
This book is invaluable for taking leadership to a higher level.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2011
We'd all love to be multilingual and speak fluently with people we encounter all over the globe, whether it's in a restaurant, office, airport, hotel or taxicab. Sound impossible?
For spoken languages, most of us will never master more than one or maybe two other tongues.
Yet Carol Kinsey Goman's book unlocks another, secret language that each of us has been using daily and studying for years: body language. What did she mean with that gesture? Is eye contact important? What signal am I sending when I pick my seat at the table for a business meeting?
Goman does an extraordinary job of explaining the ordinary. She translates the science and social meaning behind body language into pragmatic advice that business leaders anywhere in the world can use to connect with employees, customers and other stakeholders. Done well, you can increase employee engagement and close business deals. Done poorly, you can jump on a plane and go home.
Learn all about the sometimes subtle and silent language of gestures, postures and unspoken communication from a masterful instructor. It's the best language class you'll ever take.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2011
This book is incredibly useful and so easy to read. I have put the information to practical use and have managed many successful interactions with clients and peers. This book has taught me to be more concious of the moment and to slow down and be more aware. Because of this, I read people better and I tend to can receive a more positive response to my opinions and ideas. This book was a welcome change to many other business books I have in my collection.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Communications is more than word exchange--it is meaning exchange! And, followers read meaning from leaders in subtle, intuitive, and totally human ways. The Silent Languages of Leaders is a powerful and practical expose on a side of meaning-exchange that has been overlooked by most business writers. Chocked full of examples and how-to's, Carol Kinsey Goman's latest classic is a must-read for anyone interested in more compelling ways to influence and inspire.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2011
More over emotional intelligence. You need to share the stage--and attention--with body language. Body language can help leaders build rapport, relationships, and trust. Or, it can hurt their credibility big time.
In this new book, The Silent Language of Leaders, author Carol Kinsey Goman persuasively explains how body language acumen is becoming an essential skill now because of three trends. She cites 1) the changing nature of work; 2) the continuing visual technology revolution; and 3) the cross-cultural demands of the global workforce.
So even in an age where we're working more and more virtually, we need to pay much closer attention to the signals we send with our body language. This includes our appearance, posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, spatial relationships, etc.
As an expert in change leadership and communication, I especially appreciated Carol's chapter on leading change. Writing about change from the lens of change, Carol emphasizes why you need effective body language not only for motivating audiences but also for training yourself how to adopt a "positive, powerful, and uplifting postures." She explains the body-mind connection, including emotional contagion, which is so powerful in highly-charged change initiatives.
This book is easy to read and absorb, with useful real-world examples, practical advice, and helpful illustrations. Ever since I read the book several weeks ago, I've been recommending it to a number of leaders and colleagues.
If you're a leader who's on your toes leaning forward to influence others, you'll benefit by learning how to ensure your body language matches your words.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book is a must if you are involved in labor relations or any other kind of negotiations. It is well written, an easy read and very informative to HR/Labor Relations professionals.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
"The Silent Language of Leaders" brings to light the crucial role that body language plays in any interaction. The book is a terrific resource for professionals who counsel leaders on style, office presence and message delivery. Whether you are trying to help build credibility, excitement about a new product, engage employees, or navigate through crises and change, this book provides a delightful mix between research, stories and tips for everyday use.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2011
As a special education teacher, my students had difficulty reading body language which often caused problems in the classroom and the playground. It was part of my curriculum to teach students how to interact in a meaningful way rather than hitting each other on the head or getting into a squabble when they misunderstood the actions of their peers. It was also important to teach them how to interact with adults - in formal and informal situations. Due to the background of the students, they were exposed to different behaviors at home and school. They needed to be taught how to behave at school versus how they behaved at home. Looking back on this situation, I now realize I was teaching them to respond to different non-verbal communication (or clues) to help them adapt to the situation in which they found themselves. Reading "The Silent Language of Leaders" enlightened me about what I was doing. The book has many insights (especially the scientific background) that would be beneficial to all teachers.
I also feel that all administrators should read it. In the education field, there is much change in curriculum, administration, teachers, and students. This makes this field a haven for upheaval and uncertainty. Changes need to be started somewhere and those starting it must have ownership of that change - backing it, supporting it and encouraging it. Many of the administrators in the education field don't even have contact with those who have to implement the changes. How do the teachers view the targeted changes? They have seen so many different curriculums come and go, so many teaching strategies implemented and dropped and so many administrators appointed and removed that they are somewhat hesitant to fully back a suggested change since they are aware that those changes can be thrown out in a very short period of time. Education is constantly changing - somehow the administrators need to convey to the teachers the need for specific changes and re-enforce the importance of those changes. Personal appearances are important because they show the teachers that the administration thinks the changes are worth a "face to face" contact. As Carol's book points out, the importance of personal contact is significant in the acceptance or rejection of ideas. In a face-to-face appearance, the teachers have the ability to assess the body language of the administrator and either "buy into" or "reject" their sincerity.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I was disappointed by the book. I think it pointed out the obvious and told a lot of stories as examples, but I was really expecting some practical advise and pointers. There were a lot of citations on studies, but I didn't see a connection to any relevant information that could be applied in a social or work setting.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2011
Dr. Goman's tips are generally geared toward the business community, but her advice works just as well for other kinds of leaders. Teachers, committee chairs, coaches, camp counselors, Scout troop leaders - body language can mean the difference between cooperation and success, or disintegration and failure to meet group goals. Even parents could learn better real-life communication skills! I've seen a marked difference in the responses I get when I'm more conscious of my posture, my facial expressions and my verbal tone.
Dr. Goman's writing style is interesting and accessible; you won't feel like you're reading a textbook, and you'll actually retain the information. If you're a leader, or if you want to be, this book will be a valuable tool.