Body Language in the Workplace

Body Language in the Workplace.
The book deals with how Body Language affects your business career and illustrates you step-by-step examples on the effect of Body Language and how to use it in favour of your success. The author’s Allan & Barbara Pease both come from the Business World and established this book together, developing specific techniques trough personal experiences. Allan Pease made his first personal experience with the effect of Body Language as a Teenage Boy, working as a door-to-door salesman for a rubber sponge company.
He quickly learned, by watching the people’s Body Language on what they were thinking and then found a way to persuade them to willingly buy the rubber sponges without them noticing it. He later worked as a successful salesman for an Australian Life Insurance Company. The Book is a “How to” Book and designated to prospective and current Business People. The author adresses the reader directly, which gives a more personal approach to the Book. The author’s style is very informal, the quality of writing is very clear and original which makes it easier for the reader to follow and not get bored.
It suits the intended audience. Body The book contains seven Chapters, each chapter representing a different situation the reader is confronted with in his/her everyday Business Life, making it easier for the reader to identifiy himself/herself in the examples and adapting them more easely. Each example is given an additional illustration or specific situation so the reader is directly involved in the situation and understands better what the author is refering to. Furthermore, there are 14 Business rules spread out over the book.

More precisely, each chapter contains 2 Business Rules that have to be remembered. Moreover, the book is divided into two different categories: ‘A woman in Business’ and ‘A man in Business’. The first chapter has the Title “ Interviews: How to Get the Job…Every Time; Are you Sitting Comfortably ? How to Sit, Where and Why “ . It discusses how a First Impression is made and how to work on it. The first impression is more important than what is written on your Curriculum Vitae. The Interviewer will remember your appearance rather than what College you attended.
This chapter also tells you what to do and what not to do in an interview, by example not to wear a Goatee because it represents Satan and people will most likely repel people subconciously. Furthermore, the chapter sow the reader how seating arrangements can change your whole position and what type of Table is most suitable for a Conference. The second chapter has the Title “ How to Take Your Career in Your Hands: the Art of Handshaking, Networking and Surviving the Office Party”.
In this chapter the reader learns what a Handshake can do to his/her professional career, in other words : “A good handshake can be the difference between a career boost and career suicide”. Furthemore, the reader learns how to behave at an Office Party and how to boost your popularity. The third chapter, “Persuasive Presentations” shows the reader how to behave during a Presentation, taking a close look at the audience and work with Power Point Presentations. In this chapter the reader learns that the audience sitting on their left is more likely to be attentive and respondend to Jokes than the audience sitting on their right.
The fourth chapter, “Mastering Meetings and Perfecting Phone- and Video-Conferencing” tells the reader how to behave during a Video Conference, watching his/her Body Language and adapting the speed of Voice and sound to the other person during Phone- and Video-Conferences. The fifth chapter, “The Best-Kept Secrets of Successful Businesspeople” demonstrates the reader how to make himself/herself “taller” in the Businessworld, since it is proven that taller people get higher positions and therefor higher salaries.
Moreover, this chapter shows the reader how to use eye contact and moderate smiling in specific situations. The sixth chapter, “Globalisation: The Perils and Pitfalls” shows the reader to take into consideration foreign Body-Language, especially in the Business World where people travel a lot. The authors give the most common example of Japan,where certain aspecst of Body Language are perceived differently than in Europe and how misleading Body Language can ruin a Business Plan.
For example, when Japanese people nod their head while you are speaking does not mean that they are in complete agreement with you, but they are rather telling you that they are listening and that you should keep on talking. The seventh and last chapter, “Office Politics, Power-Players, Office Romances and Other Ticking Bombs” gives the reader examples on how to avoid intimidation by superiors,seeing who’s surfing on the internet and who’s really working at home, how to spot and “office romance” and most importantly how to deal with stress.
Conclusion The Book gives a clear and specific Guideline on “How to” Behave in different situations , but also shows the reader the Consequences of the mistakes he/she might be making without being conscious about them. The book is easy to follow and would rather be used by people preparing for an interview. In my opinion, it is very interesting to see how such little things that are thought to be unnoticed can have such a big impact on your professional career.
Personally, I encountered the same experience as the Author, Allan Pease working as a “sales person “ for an NGO, but instead of doing door-to-door I had to accost the people on the street. Opening your arms to the person and showing your palms is more likely to make people stop and listen to you than moving towards them, arms crossed. It was very interesting for me to find myself in certain aspects of the book and and learn ways to improve your own appearance. I would definetly recommend this book to any person who is looking for a Job or changing Workplace and/or preparing himself/herself for a presentation.

Body Language in the Workplace

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New York University

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