How Body Language Can Help Your Career

Curious what your nonverbal cues say about you? Wondering how you can better read others in a business setting?

Check out the third edition of “How Important Are Nonverbal Signals?” The publication is designed both to help you sharpen their nonverbal performance and to recognize subtle signals from others. “Nonverbal communication is part of a high stakes game,” said the report’s author, Ed Barks, “whether you’re seeking to persuade reporters, policymakers, or an auditorium filled with an important audience.”

Nonverbal miscues can mean the difference between a positive headline and a public relations disaster; between a standing ovation and a fleeing audience; and between a successful public policy campaign and a Capitol Hill fail.

Reputation and success depend on strong communications skills, both verbal and nonverbal. That’s why the report recommends “regular reviews of your nonverbal performance when you speak in public, deal with reporters, and petition public officials…if you plan to increase influence for yourself and your organization.”

New sections include advice on how to learn by observing nonverbal behavior (Barks reveals that one of his favorite settings for this is the Washington, D.C. Metro subway system). He also adds a passage on society’s fascination with lie detection, underscoring how difficult it is to spot a liar. He incorporates some surprising findings from respected researchers on how many of us are able to detect dissemblers (hint: You are probably not one of them).

The updated volume also adds an appendix of suggested nonverbal exercises which, as Barks writes, is designed “to get you thinking and talking about how we communicate in this manner so that you can use it to your benefit in your everyday professional encounters.”

While based on rigorous research, Barks shuns an academic approach. He writes, “Most of my clients don’t care about the research methods surrounding nonverbal communications, nor should they. They care about results.”

“How Important Are Nonverbal Signals?” is available free of charge at http://www.barkscomm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Barks-position-paper-nonverbals.pdf .