Sunday, April 19, 2009

Book review: What every body is saying (an Ex-FBI agent's guide to speed reading people) by Joe Navarro

What every body is saying (an Ex-FBI agent’s guide to speed reading people) – Joe Navarro

The author is an ex-FBI agent that has studied people’s non-verbal signals and gestures in an effort to determine their thoughts and feelings. The author explains what body language is and why people make signals and gestures without even thinking about it. A very detailed explanation of the human brain is given and why the signals made are accurate indicators of people’s thoughts. The author uses experiences interviewing suspects to explain situations where a signal helped in finding out the person’s true feelings.

What I gained from reading this book:
I have already read a book on body language by Allan Pearce but the difference with this book is it was written three decades later. Much scientific research has been conducted in this area and this book is a result of that research. I enjoyed reading about the human brain and how our body acts without our control. The examples were fantastic and very entertaining. It was great to hear examples of how the author interrogated suspects and lead them to confessing by noticing the clues in their body language.

After finishing this book I noticed so many signals and gestures people around me made that helped me determine what they were thinking and feeling. I have been using the information from this book whenever my friends would have a game of poker together. Although I am far from an expert, my ability to tell if somebody is bluffing or not has increased as I can now recognise tells.

This book (as well as the other book I have reviewed on body language) has helped me out in many situations from the poker table to dealing with customers.

The credibility of the author and the obvious research that has been made gives me a good feeling that I am reading good quality material. The explanations are simple enough to understand but go into enough detail to give you a thorough understanding.
There are plenty of photographs to demonstrate examples and the examples of real life situations are very interesting.

Body language is a very wide topic and there are countless gestures and behaviours. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to include all of these into a single book. People who expect to know absolutely everything about body language after reading this book may feel disappointed. But for everybody else, there are more than enough signals and gestures to study.

Recommended for: Everybody
I recommend this book for everybody because a basic understanding of body language can help you out in almost any situation where you are involved with somebody else. Not only can it help you out in communicating with other people, it is a very interesting topic.

Genre: Human behaviour

Overall rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:

What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-reading People

Where to from here:
If you want to read another book on body language, have a read of my review on:
Body language (how to read other’s thoughts by their gestures) by Allan Pearse

Other related topics include negotiation:
Getting to YES by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Or you may want to read up on general people skills:
How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

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