I'm happy to tell you about a really great book from Mark Bowden, an expert in communication and body language.
I have heard Mark speak a few times, and always enjoy his approach, in part because he brings substantive content to an area filled with half-truths and outright BS. For example, he told me once why "morning air" in a large room can make it hard to hear what others are saying. Now that was something totally new to me.
Mark Bowden has trained as an actor, and understands physical presentation as a way of enhancing one's message. He has developed a simple system to codify and explain physical gesture, and why some gestures evoke trust and others evoke confusion.
What I really like about his approach is that you don't have to take it on trust -- you can easily illustrate most of the ideas he proposes just by trying them out yourself. You'll feel the impact right away.
You might think that a book about body language is a bit incongruous here, but it isn't, and here's why:
- I need to be able to build trust and rapport with people quickly when I am doing research. There are tools and techniques in this book that I can use more deliberately, instead of being unconsciously competent.
- Marketing communications often show people -- people who are gesturing, who have facial expressions, and so forth. I think I may be able to use some of this content to help me see why some creative works better than others, and communicate this effectively to clients
In terms of customer experience, every human touchpoint involves communication, and it has a gestural context that communicates an emotional message. Are you training people to do things that will help keep customers calm and engaged? Things that will help them hear a message as credible? Or are your front line staff doing things that may confuse the message or alienate the customer?
When you lead people as a manager, and want to inspire them to create great customer experiences, how well are you communicating your own passion?
Truly, there are few things in life as crucial as communication. This book provides a fresh approach, and substantial content, and is a pleasant read to boot.
Winning Body Language by Mark Bowden, McGraw Hill, 2010. Available from all the usual sources, such as Amazon:
Full disclosure: I paid for this book.