The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Barbara Pease is a great book. It has clear and useful descriptions of body language signals from head to toe that will help you understand the intentions and views of people you are interacting with. Go buy!

The authors advise that this is not magic, and start early with three rules: 1) read gestures in clusters (no one signal tells all), 2) look for congruence (does speech agree with body language? if not, go with body language), 3) read gestures in context (crossed arms signal closed mind, but not if the person is just cold).

Useful business examples include: dominance via handshakes, types of fake smiles, closed mind signals, power gaze for intimidation, and the effects of seating arrangements at tables on meeting outcomes. Men are less innately skilled at reading body language, and the text includes a section on women's courtship signals.

Read chapter 19 first. It is a set of drawings designed to test you skill at reading body language. Then read the rest of the book and try chapter 19 again.





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