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BODY  LANGUAGE
A Guide For Professionals

Third Edition 2012

Body-language is a by-word in the world
of today. It is the X-factor or the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that completes the personalities of professionals, performers on screen and field, of politicians, celebrities and talk-show hosts, of models on the ramp or on the road, in public speaking and presentations.
The list goes on.

More human communication took place by the use of gestures,
postures, position and distance than by any other way.

Ray Birdwhistell

For information regarding this book CLICK HERE

 

 

PREFACE  [EDITION 3]

 

Body-language is a by-word in the world of today. It is the X-factor or the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that completes the personalities of professionals, performers on screen and field, of politicians, celebrities and talk-show hosts, of models on the ramp or on the road, in public speaking and presentations. The list goes on.

 

One shows no surprise when a new book on body language appears on a publisher’s list or a shop window. One only hopes to find in it new insights and updated references to expand ones body language ‘vocabulary’, fluency, and expertise.

 

Given this general consciousness in the language of the body, and the thumping success of the previous edition, the publishers felt it was time to up-grade Body Language: A Guide for Professionals. The author has painstakingly combed through the existing text in order to append new insights in several areas of the book, especially with more practical hints on some topics. It provides, what in technical terms would be called “soft skills” in communication.

 

Since the last edition of this book, a decade ago, the internet and media have brought renewed interest to non-verbal communication, particularly to Body Language! Institutes of management, business and human resources have included the study and practice of body language as a ‘Soft Skill’ in their syllabi and training programmes. The traditional topics dealing with the different parts of the body remain, but they have been more widely discussed and made easily accessible through the internet.

 

The author has surfed the internet to his heart’s content and has embellished the present volume with his discoveries. The structure of this new edition has been changed a great deal; each chapter is replenished with details that make for depth, clarity and greater comprehensiveness. There are several new dimensions added to a topic, with the inclusion of modern-day observations of human behaviour and body-talk. Care has been taken to include typical Indian gestures where relevant. Each chapter has a set of wide-ranging insights. Perhaps the only “new” inclusion is “Body Language in Sleep”, research finding of which have become popular after the previous edition of this book was published.

 

All in all, this edition has been expanded so as to make the theories more experiential – and popular.

 

 

 

Publishers' Note

 

Body Language comes at a time when 'market', 'self-salesmanship' and 'personality projection' are commonplace survival tactics. The book explores the hidden language of the body and the meaning of body gestures, placing it in the context of the 'new age' society.

'New World New Body Language' is the mantra for this third edition of Body Language. Soft skill is the most sought after word today in the field of management. The nurturing of 'soft skills' and the furthering of individual growth come under one such modern-day demands.

Ever since the last edition of this book in 1998, there has been dramatic societal changes, owing to the increased use of the Internet. This edition factors in these changes. With illustrations depicting body positions, Lewis aims at a systematic, in-depth and comprehensive approach to non-verbal communication in general and body language in particular.

 

 

BROCHURE

 

 

A command over body language has become an important skill in today’s world. It is the X-factor that completes the personalities of executives, entertainers, politicians, celebrities, and many more.

After the thumping success of the previous edition of Body Language: A Guide for Professionals, SAGE has come out with this exciting third edition. Since the last edition of this book more than a decade ago, Internet and media have brought renewed interest to non-verbal communication, particularly to body language. The author has painstakingly combed through the existing text and has extensively researched online resources to add new insights to this edition, making it a cutting-edge reference on the subject.

Some of the significant new features of this edition are:
- Latest developments in the field of non-verbal communication
- Extra details that add greater depth, clarity and comprehensiveness to the text
- Modern-day observations of human behaviour and body-talk
- Coverage of typical Indian gestures where relevant
- A new section on ‘Body Language in Sleep’
- Additional practical tips and suggestions

The reader is also challenged with tests and practice sessions that help develop special skills to interpret body language. With its various improvements, this edition presents a systematic, in-depth, and comprehensive approach to body language.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

The Characteristics of Body Language

The Face

The Eyes

The Head and Torso

Arms, Hands, and Palms

Postures Zones and Spaces

Traits and Attitudes

Body Language in Practice

 

Readership

Academics and students of communication and media studies

 

Excerpts from Reviews of Previous Editions

Hedwig Lewis has provided the reader with a well-researched work. The chapters begin with the theoretical aspects of the subject matter, where the author explains the difference between verbal and non-verbal communication, which depict the distinction between thoughts and feelings (cerebral and visceral), He then progresses on to the aspects, advantages, dimensions and interpretation of body language and finally elucidates the role of the neuro-linguistic programming. Here, Lewis also talks of how attires and footwear influence the understanding of individual's non-verbal communication.

Next. a detailed analysis of each feature of body language has been portrayed with finesse... The last contextual part deals with traits and attitudes, which includes personology... To understand certain common traits, especially the emotional type, Hedwig makes an attempt to help the reader by providing information of gestures to be related to various common traits and attitudes.
This book also contains tests and practice sessions for developing special skills for interpreting body language...

 Management & Change, Vol 5, No 1 (Jan-Jun 2001), New Delhi


Some of the strengths of the book are indicated below:
1. Major strength of the book is its simplicity. The language is simple and the examples are common occurrence. One does not have to be a professional to appreciate the book....
2. The pictorial representations add to the meaning. They reinforce the point and provide the necessary visual...
3. I am impressed by the details. The author has gone into the specific arguments of the parts of the body what do they convey. ... While other books have dealt with sub-segments but not exclusively and in such details.
4. Generally, books on body language do not discuss personal space. Chapter 6 is specifically devoted to proxemics...
5. Similarly section on corporate etiquette is of current significance....
6. Finally, practice sessions, summing up at the end of each chapter and references are helpful tools to assimilate the knowledge and look for extra information...
ABHIGYAN (details unavailable)

Lewis' book is an aid to judgment in social encounters. The book contains a sufficient amount of theory, with illustrations that provide the necessary cues for visual representation... The book is almost a dictionary on human gestures and messages they convey.
Daily News, Colombo (2001)

Lewis in his book deftly handles the subject and systematically progresses to explicate the science of body language taking into account the physical and psychological aspects of non-verbal behaviour... The text is replete with examples, exercises and graphics.... The examples are concrete even though they force the reader to visualize images, actions and behaviour...
VISION: The Journal of Business Perspective (Jan-June 1999)

Hedwig Lewis... has designed his book to serve as a handy and comprehensive guide for professionals, especially, who are involved in frequent public dealings... The author has done a hard work to cull out the subject matter from various reference books with computerised illustrations and use of models to make the reading interesting and meaningful. He is clear in mind while setting out the objectives of his work and rightly opines that his work will serve as a useful tool in the hands of managers, executives, teachers, parents, social workers, nurses, and so on.
Personnel Today (Apr-June 1998)

Speech has so far been regarded as the only means of knowing the inner man. Mannerisms added to the information. Body language today has gained as significant a position as language of the tongue... This book theorises with illustrations on material necessary to get complete graphic knowledge of body language. It also explains how gestures or gesture clusters may be analysed.
The Statesman (May 18, 1998)

As the book puts it, human beings can produce some 650,000 non-verbal signals, which are roughly half of all human communication.
So this is a book to read and refer to. It will tell you more about the hidden patterns of your behaviour, and so can help bring about more transparent communication. It’s something for the bookshelf of every student of human behaviour.
Jivan (September October 1998)


This study will be useful to professional of various kinds: administrators, teachers, counsellors, social workers, burses, etc. and make them better judges of character. The book is written in such an engaging style that it can be of interest even to the non-professionals who reads it for his edification.
Daily News ‘Weekender’ (September 19, 1998)


Body language is a critical subtext in any communication. The author’s aim in the book under review is to help the reader understand and apply it to enhance the quality of human relationships... The dimensions of body language have been correctly identified as phylogenetic; ontogenetic consisting of inherited, congenital and learned aspect; universal and culture-specific; age and status; and attire. Further analysis of each is also neat and clear.
The Hindu (December 1, 1998)


Lewis makes his objectives clear at the beginning. They are threefold: to demonstrate how much non-verbal communication there is; to identify the sources of non-verbal messages; and to ‘discuss the facts related to an accurate decoding of non-verbal messages.’ He demonstrates the importance of non-verbal communication well enough. He quotes research that shows that of the three important means of face-to-face communication, verbal, vocal and visual, the visual element is far and away the most important... Each chapter concludes with a brief and useful summary... Lewis has used examples set in the Indian context, to that extent, he has taken care of cultural variations in body language.
Indian Review Of Books (October 16, 1998)


The book is appealing, handy and immensely useful in sharpening one's perception to make relationships and interactions more useful.
TATWA (The Supreme Truth), (July-September 1998), Shegaon, Buldhana Dt., Maharashtra, 444 203


Both the success of the first edition (1998) and the wish to clarify and update some sections, as well as to add new drawings and special blocks of information, justified this new edition so soon after the publication of the first, in the author’s view (p. 7). After stressing the importance of body language in communication and that verbal communication would not only be flat, shallow, and unexciting but even “inaccurate” without accompanying body language, Lewis states the objectives of the work: It will serve as a working manual in our personal encounters with people – individuals as well as groups. It will be a useful tool in the hands of managers and subordinates in an office set-up, marketing executives on their rounds, teachers, parents, and especially those who are in the “helping professions” – nurses, counselors, social workers, and so on. (p.10)

Acknowledging that “every signal will not mean the same thing all the time,” the author nevertheless feels that “when the same signs appear in similar situations, time after time, we can rather safely interpret their meaning” (p. 14). Drawing heavily on the scientific literature on body language that psychologists, sociologists, and others have built up over the past half century during which the topic has been of special interest to empirical researchers, he describes the general characteristics of body language in Chapter 1. Chapters are then devoted to the face, “the most significant – and the most photographed – part of the human body” (p. 62), the eyes, the hands, and the legs. Chapter6 is devoted to “territorial zones and spaces,” spatial relationships, and proxemics – the ways people appreciate, use and interpret space in their interactions. Chapter 7 singles out certain traits and attitudes and studies “what form of gestures or gesture clusters communicate them” (p. 165). Each chapter is followed by a “Summing Up” section that suggests how material covered in that chapter can be used “to project the power of our personality through body language” (p. 188). The concluding chapter outlines a practice session containing “exercises that will help you test how accurately and quickly you can interpret the gestures discussed in this book” (p. 189). A list of references and an index are provided, and the book is illustrated with numerous line drawings.
[By WEB, in Communication Research and Trends, A Quarterly Review of Communication Trends, Vol 21 (2002) No. 3, p 28, Centre for the Study of Communication and Culture, Los Gatos, California]


Designed as a guide for the interpretation of body language, this book starts with the premise that, like other languages, body language entails levels of proficiency. It explains the script of body language in a systematic and graded manner, highlighting the physical and physiological aspects of non-behavior. It specifically discusses individual gestures of the face, eyes, hands, and legs, as well as gesture clusters. Tests and practice sessions are included. Lewis is Principal Emeritus at St Xavier's College, Ahmedabad.
Editorial Reviews, Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR. [amazon.com, 2005]

Special Announcement

SAGE INDIA have decided to make their popular books available to a larger readership. They will enter into co-publication partnerships with reputed publishers in a number of Indian languages “to publish and disseminate quality translations…” At present they are negotiating with publishers in Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, Hindu and Malayalam, “but hope to expand the list in the near future.” “Body Language: A Guide for Professionals”, has been included in this venture.

[Letter of Mr Rajam Dhameja, Deputy Managing Director, 26 October 2007]
 

Both the success of the first edition (1998) and the wish to clarify and update some sections, as well as to add new drawings and special blocks of information, justified this new edition so soon after the publication of the first, in the author's view (p. 7). After stressing the importance of body language in communication and that verbal communication would not only be flat, shallow, and unexciting but even "inaccurate" without accompanying body language, Lewis states the objectives of the work…
Acknowledging that "every signal will not mean the same thing all the time," the author nevertheless feels that "when the same signs appear in similar situations, time after time, we can rather safely interpret their meaning" (p. 14). Drawing heavily on the scientific literature on body language that psychologists, sociologists, and others have built up over the past half century during which the topic has been of special interest to empirical researchers, he describes the general characteristics of body language in Chapter 1. Chapters are then devoted to the face, "the most significant--and the most photographed--part of the human body" (p. 62), the eyes, the hands, and the legs. Chapter 6 is devoted to "territorial zones and spaces," spatial relationships, and proxemics--the ways people appreciate, use and interpret space in their interactions. Chapter 7 singles out certain traits and attitudes and studies "what form of gestures or gesture clusters communicate them" (p. 165).
Each chapter is followed by a "Summing Up" section that suggests how material covered in that chapter can be used "to project the power of our personality through body language" (p. 188). The concluding chapter outlines a practice session containing "exercises that will help you test how accurately and quickly you can interpret the gestures discussed in this book" (p. 189). A list of references and an index are provided, and the book is illustrated with numerous line drawings.
William E. Biernatzki, Centre for the Study of Communication and Culture, Gale, Cengage Learning. Communication Research Trends.
FindArticles.com. 18 Feb, 2011.

 

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