Byron's Babbles

Reading You Like A Book

imagesLesson #21 in The Disciplined Leader (2015) by John M. Manning is about how as leaders it is important for us to understand what kind of nonverbal communication cues we are sending. In reading this lesson I was reminded of the incredible book by Dr. Nick Morgan, Power Cues (2014). Power Cues reports new brain and behavioral science about how humans communicate, and the importance of authentic face-to-face interactions. Dr. Morgan goes into detail on the visual cues, subtle gestures, sounds and signals that elicit emotion. As Manning (2015) taught us, leaders who are not in tune with putting on the right game face on are not effective with their teams. Manning (2015) said, ‘Leaders tend to pay way more attention to their verbal communication than their nonverbal communication. Many leaders often aren’t aware of what their nonverbal habits are and how they regularly affect others (Kindle Locations 1216-1217).” Leaders who understand how to become more persuasive and how to communicate more effectively will create more influence in all dealings, and as we know, leadership is about influence.

“No one gets led anywhere they don’t want to go. Machiavelli was wrong; leadership is not manipulation, not in the long run. It’s alignment, the leader with the group and the group with the leader. But you first have to maximize and focus your leadership strengths in order to be ready when your moment comes.” ~ Dr. Nick Morgan












“What this means is that body language doesn’t lie and can make or break what and how well you communicate to others.” ~ John M. Manning

The first three Power Cues deal with non verbal communication (Morgan, 2014):

  1. The first power cue is all about self-awareness. How do you show up when you walk into a room?
  2. The second power cue involves taking charge of your nonverbal communications in order to project the persona you want to project— through your emotions. What emotions do you convey through your body language for important moments, conversations, meetings, and presentations?
  3. The third power cue helps you learn to read unconscious messages. What unconscious messages are you receiving from others?

So, as you can see it is important for us to think about the nonverbal cues we are sending, but it is also important for effective leaders to read the nonverbal signals of others. Morgan (2014) told us that body language always trumps the spoken content. He also taught us in Power Cues that most of the emotional colors and tones of conversation are set through gestures (Morgan, 2014). For those involved in education reading this, Morgan (2014) pointed out that researchers have studied how children learn and have determined that they learn nonverbally first.

The bottom line is we need to be very aware of what message we are sending in our gestures, eye contact, hands, arms, stance, and attentiveness. As Morgan (2014) pointed out, the nonverbal communications, such as gesture, happen in the brain ahead of the verbal (spoken) communication. These nonverbal signals send messages that speak to the whole person and influence our ability to build effective relationships with our teams, influence those individuals, and lead our organizations.

If you want to dig deeper I would recommend getting a copy and reading Power Cues (2014) by Dr. Nick Morgan. Combine that with reading Manning’s The Disciplined Leader (2015) and you are taking major leaps toward your professional growth and becoming an even more influential leader.


Manning, John (2015-06-15). The disciplined leader: Keeping the focus on what really matters. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Morgan, Nick (2014). Power cues: The subtle science of leading groups, persuading others, and maximizing your personal impact. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: