Impression Management – The Sequel
I was reading an article, “What’s in a Handshake?” (by Peter Newfield) and was brought back to my father (may he rest in peace). I remember him teaching me to shake hands – a firm (but NOT too firm/hurtful) handshake and the importance of looking the recipient in the eye. We practiced together and in almost every interaction I had with him where we met other people. I hated it - it seemed so unimportant and repetitive . . . . . I was VERY young and found that I had to do this with everyone we encountered even if we already knew them. I wish I could thank him for the important lesson.
A really fun book!
A few years after my last child was off to college, I was shopping at a Bed, Bath & Beyond for a gift. Waiting in the check-out line, I looked at their ‘impulse buy’ area. Yes, I bought a book!
- “1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home (Or Else They'll Come Back)” by Harry Harrison Jr.
It is a book of mostly one-line sayings that are hilarious AND true. I took it on a business trip and read it on the plane (a very fast read, by the way). I was laughing out loud (to myself, I thought), and the person next to me asked what was so funny. I read her some of the sayings. We kept this up for almost an hour. As our plane was about to land, she thanked me for giving her a one hour fun vacation.
Sayings from the book (no wording changes – these are verbatim)
- People with a weak, flabby handshake make others wonder about their spine.
- Show up on time: for interviews, for class, for work, for relationships. (Showing up late says you’re goobers.)
- Do not dress like a model or rock star – unless you are interviewing to be one.
- A business lunch is no different than any other business meeting – except you have the opportunity to ruin your clothes (order accordingly).
I quoted from this book while serving as a speaker at a Twin Cities Human Resources Association (TCHRA; now TCSHRM) Student Conference. The audience seemed to enjoy the book reference and quotes. I hope they remember them.
Wisdom from unexpected places
Who knew such wisdom could be found in the impulse buying area of a store. Let me offer you one more title and its related wisdom:
- “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum
And a few pearls of wisdom from the book – not necessarily first-impression worthy, but long-term impression and life-worthy:
- Live a balanced life.
- learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some
- When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
- Learn the janitor's name.
- Go to every wedding you are invited to - it is the key to building and honoring lifelong friendships.
And remember my favorite advertising saying: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”