Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

First published August 4, 2010

What Your Body Says 

When I’m invited to work with a senior executive team that isn’t firing on all cylinders, 90% of the time, 90% of the problem comes from the same underlying issue: misunderstandings that have arisen directly as a result of non-verbal (body) language.Over the months and years, people in meetings (formal and informal) get trapped by old narratives, re-fight past battles, and hunker down in passive-aggressive attitudes that slowly accrete over time, leading eventually to a team that’s less than effective, mired in it’s own history.

Until now, I’ve dealt with situations like this by sitting in on meetings, calling out behaviors (verbal and non-verbal) that are unhelpful, and best I can, modeling alternatives. Almost always, people are well-intentioned and desirous of change, so they take a teachable attitude and make the required changes. As the team opens up more and learns to jettison the baggage of the past, they are rewarded by faster, better decision-making and everybody wins.

While I like this model (and I’ll continue to use it), I’ve always had my eye out for a way to accelerate the process – and now I’ve found it. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Sharon Sayler, and we did what all new authors do – excitedly exchanged our books. Now, I’ll admit that during this little piece of Kabuki, I’m usually too pre-occupied with how the other person is reacting to ‘Predictable Success’ to do more than make a cursory look at their book (and of course, they’re doing the mirror opposite), but as soon as I looked at the cover of “What Your Body Says“, I knew I was holding something special – and very, very useful.

I read it through in it’s entirety the same day, and I’m committed to sending it – in advance – to every member of every team I work with from here in. “What Your Body Says” does exactly what it says on the box – helps anyone understand what they are saying with their body, consciously and unconsciously, and how to manage and control those non-verbal signals.

If you are a member of any team, of any size, or find yourself communicating to others at work regularly, I highly recommend you buy this book.

Note: I have no connection, financial or otherwise with Sharon or her book – I just like it a lot and highly recommend it.

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