Definitive Book of Body Language by Alan and Barbara Pease

Definitive Book of Body Language: Yorkshire Powerhouse Score 2/10

The book is out of date and close to being inappropriate in a world of gender equality.

This book starts out with promise. It talks about the need to take body language in context and there’s a nice metaphor that each gesture is more like a word in a sentence. I read on with great interest. But then, after this caveat the book proceeds to draw farfetched conclusions based on a whole variety of single gestures with no attempt to contextualise these whatsoever.

There’s a whole section on ‘handshakes’ based on photographs of politicians and the conclusions seem to me fittingly shaky! The author of this book Allan Pease did a TED talk, and before buying this book I’d fully recommend watching this on YouTube to see if you like his style – here’s the link.

The book itself is very thin so you can speed through it in no time. There are helpful pictures to illustrate the points mentioned, and the book is helpfully broken down into various chapters, splitting up face movements, handshaking, seated gestures etc. It does make one think much more about what a “comfortable” seated pose actually says- “aggressive, defensive and not wanting to be part of the conversation”.

The book is slightly dated, as expected and there is a lack of equality in the book when referring to the body language used by both men and women. This is obviously written in a time when the corporate workplace was very much a male-dominated environment, and unfortunately, a lot of the gestures used by women referred to in this book refer to “sexual readiness” of the woman!

Who will gain the most from reading the Definitive Book of Body Language?

Those who have an early interest in the science of body language and wish to read a little more to establish their real level of interest.

Could a Yorkshire perspective improve this book?

Yes, some of the conclusions are far fetched and the phrase ‘hindsight is a 20/20 science’ comes to mind.

Review Takeaway:

Whether a reader considers this a five-star book, or a one-star book depends largely on what your particular needs are. This was a book written for salesmen, with the objective of teaching them how to read people and how to present themselves in order to close a sale. It is not a textbook, so if you’re looking for the latest in scientific research, this book isn’t it. Book Reviews, Yorkshire Powerhouse

Click this link to view Definitive Book of Body Language by Alan and Barbara Pease on Amazon – and then click ‘buy now’!

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