Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Week 33: First Impressions: What You Don't know About How Others See You by Ann Demarais, Ph.D. and Valerie White, Ph.D.

I picked this from the psychology section of the Smyrna Library while I was searching for a book on dealing with difficult people. Although I never found the one I was looking for, I sort of lucked out.

This book explored the psychology of first impressions, and how to make the experience more pleasant for you and for the person with whom you're interacting. Did you know you could unconsciously be putting people off while you think you're hitting it off? Your body language, attitude, conversation, eye contact, and a multitude of other characteristics make you more or less appealing to others.

As with many psychology books, this was terribly short on creative charm but was constructed in a way which was easy to follow. Each chapter in this book added another element to the "art" of creating a great first impression. Humility, candor, confidence, empathy, and even your sexuality work together to form your first impression. The book challenges its readers to try to enhance first impressions by tweaking facets of the your normal routine, but provides practical advice that would benefit anyone, whatever their social abilities.

I would recommend this book to anyone who may feel ill-prepared or maybe just not confident in social situations. I felt it was particularly pertinent in my line of work. I often have one opportunity to make a lasting impression on behalf of my organization, and I know I can immediately put the advice in this book to good use. I learned a lot about myself from this book.

I know one person who needs to read this book and take its advice word for word. A hint: if you don't think it could possibly be you, it probably is.

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