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The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help--or Hurt--How You Lead Hardcover – April 19, 2011


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The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help--or Hurt--How You Lead + What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People + The Definitive Book of Body Language
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470876360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470876367
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Aspiring and seasoned leaders have been trained to excel at communicating verbally. And yet, all their efforts to communicate effectively can be derailed by even the smallest nonverbal gestures, such as the way they sit in a business meeting, or stand at the podium at a speaking engagement, or the amount of eye contact they give in a one-on-one meeting.

In The Silent Language of Leaders, leadership and communications expert Carol Kinsey Goman explains that in today's fast-paced business environment, where global interactions are increasing, mastering the art of body language is more important than ever. She explains that personal space, physical gestures, posture, facial expressions, and eye contact communicate louder than words and, thus, can be used strategically to help leaders manage, motivate, lead global teams, and communicate clearly in the digital age. Drawing on more than twenty years of experience, and on compelling psychological and neuroscience research, she shows leaders how to adjust their body language for maximum effect and how to:

  • Use techniques like "mirroring" to build trust and encourage collaboration.

  • Accurately read the nonverbal signals of your counterparts to increase success in negotiations.

  • Use body language to project confidence and candor when managing change.

  • Communicate nonverbally in virtual environments.

  • Channel your gender's natural body language inclinations for improved leadership results.

  • Identify which nonverbal signals communicate internationally and which are culture-bound.

Profound changes are shaking up our lives and the kind of leaders the world seeks. As the pace of change continues to accelerate, stay ahead of the curve by mastering the silent language of leadership.

From the Back Cover

Praise for The Silent Language of Leaders

"Great coaching for global leaders of the future!"
Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times best-selling author, MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

"Leadership is much more biological than we have realized. Carol Kinsey Goman has done a great job of outlining the biological impact that leaders have through their body language."
David Rock, author, Your Brain at Work

"Goman offers invaluable insights and tips that espouse the true value of listening, not just with our ears, but with our eyes, helping us navigate and interpret the subtle body and facial cues that can mark the difference between success and failure. Don't talk, just click or walk into your nearest bookstore, and buy it now."
Linda Kaplan, CEO, and Robin Koval, president, Kaplan Thaler Group, and authors of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, The Power of Nice

"The Silent Language of Leaders is destined to become a classic in the field of nonverbal communication and business."
David Givens, Ph.D., director, Center for Nonverbal Studies, anthropologist, and author, Your Body at Work, Crime Signals, Love Signals, and The Nonverbal Dictionary

"Carol Kinsey Goman has written an important book based on real life experience—not just theory. This is a book that must be read by leaders and those who aspire to lead."
Robert Dilenschneider, founder, The Dilenschneider Group and author, Power and Influence


More About the Author

Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., is an executive coach and international keynote speaker and seminar leader for corporations, associations and government agencies.

Body language has always played a key role in Carol's professional life. Prior to founding Kinsey Consulting Services, she was a therapist in private practice -- reading nonverbal cues to help her clients make rapid and profound behavioral changes. As a coach, Carol helps leaders build powerful and effective business relationship by using verbal and nonverbal communication that projects confidence, credibility, and empathy.

Carol has an extensive background in organizational "people issues." She's published over 300 articles in the fields of organizational change, leadership, communication, the multi-generational work force, collaboration, employee engagement, and body language in the workplace. An upbeat and entertaining guest, Carol's been featured in media including NPR's Marketplace, CNN's Business Unusual, Investor's Business Daily, Executive Excellence, ABC's "The View From the Bay," Forbes.com, and the NBC Nightly News. She is a Human Resource columnist for Troy Media and an "On Leadership" panelist for The Washington Post.


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Customer Reviews

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I would recommend this book to junior to seasoned communications professionals and leaders in any organization.
Matthew B. Evans
The book is very well written, it applies the information to real world situations and also includes pictures to help you see some of the body language.
deathntaxes
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".
Monty Rainey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on May 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Brad Whitworth on June 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By jennifer on May 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Chip R. Bell on May 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified 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.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Liz Guthridge on June 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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.
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