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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.”