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Book Review - Essay Example

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SC546 Masten CE Book Review.doc Book Review: The Power of Body Language by Tonya Reiman Overview of the Book The Power of Body Language, which was written by Tonya Reiman, is an average manuscript developed to hone one’s interpersonal and intrapersonal skills…
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Download file to see previous pages The intended audience is quite broad, as the author strives to encompass individuals who would like to improve their communication skills and interpersonal interactions beyond verbal communication. Components of the book are factual and the author’s presentation of the material was not technical as evidenced by her informal writing style. One will also find a mixture of information and opinion, along with many examples from authentic or imagined situations. The book is well structured, with an introduction, nine chapters and a plethora of references at the end. The chapters have general titles and are succinctly and sequentially presented into mini sections Author’s Purpose The use of the word “Power” in book’s title gives away the author’s tendency to see body language as a technique for enhancing a person’s ability to control the world, and other people, through body language. I strongly confirm the position that the author used social engineering methodologies to illustrate her points of view relative to the power of body language. Through anecdotal stories, the author demonstrated how she “helped” people to change their personal presentation style. There seemed also to be a bias towards creating certain conformity, especially for women. For example, the case study of “Cindy” who preferred wearing “tight suits and stilettos” (p. 14) and was transformed in two or three weeks from “overdone office floozy to striking young professional” (p. 14). This stereotypical language betrays a tendency in the book to dramatize and over-simplify, and for my own professional purposes, I would be much more accepting and respectful of the choices people make in their own non-verbal language. The book also has a tendency to make general judgments about a person’s appearance such as “In today’s world having yellow teeth is like dying a slow social death…” (p. 230). There may be reasons such as illness, medication, poverty and/or depression which can contribute to an individual’s appearance falling outside of the “ideal” professional look. Also, it appears that the author spoke in generalities and may have minimized medical conditions and/or multi-cultural values and norms contributing to an individual’s appearance or body language. The author implies that transformation is within reach of every reader. For many people who are overweight or underweight, older than average, living with disability or any number of other physical and social challenges, this is too simplistic. Just advising people to “lose the weight” and pointing out that “a landmark Harvard study found that overweight women earn an average of $6,710 less a year than women who are not overweight” (p. 215) could actually be a harmful reinforcement of social prejudice. These observations show that the author wants to promote a particular and rather elitist view of body language as an extension of a dominant and successful personality. This may reflect a preoccupation with the worlds of media and business, and this means that the purpose of the book is to address issues in these areas, rather than in general educational or therapeutic contexts. Personal Reaction I found this to be an interesting book; with many useful tips, but at the same time I did not warm to the author’s style. The breezy and casual tone suggested to me that the author ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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