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First Impressions: What You Don't Know About How Others See You Paperback – Mar 29 2005

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (March 29 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553382012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553382013
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The authors, both psychologists, run a New York–based business that coaches professionals on how they present themselves in business contexts and singles on how they appear during staged dates. In breezy helpful style, this book helps readers identify gaps between self-perception and actual effect. The secret to a good first impression, the authors argue, is "social generosity," carefully helping others feel good about themselves, whether through "appreciation," "connection," "elevation" (good spirits) or "enlightenment" (new information). Each chapter covers one of "Seven Fundamentals of a First Impression" (including the need for self-disclosure and for fluency in conversational dynamics); each ends with a checklist of "positive topic behaviors" and "common miscommunications" (e.g., if you focus on one topic, you may think you're passionate but you come off as self-absorbed). While some insights are basic (eye contact as an indication of interest), the authors thoroughly dissect interactions that are eminently flubbable. For example, the most common violation of "talking with" is "talking at," which can include lecturing, storytelling, sermonizing and telling jokes. The insights presented here are based not just on the authors' experience as consultants but also on the psychological literature: getting in sync with a partner, the research shows, requires coordinated smiling, gesturing and a mutual attentive gaze. The secret to sex appeal? Androgynous characteristics matched with confidence and warmth. This highly practical book ends with suggestions on how to tweak your style, including asking friends for feedback and consciously charting behaviors. To their credit, the authors remind newly enlightened readers of the importance of cutting others slack: somewhat annoying behavior may stem from good intentions.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–From friendships to business relationships, first impressions can have a huge personal, emotional, and financial impact on one's life. This book is a review of the scientific literature on how one is perceived by others during the first few minutes of social interaction. The authors summarize the current literature and place it into charts, allowing readers to easily determine the most appropriate strategy for making a good first impression. The material is interesting and flows well. The book is content rich with information that could be used daily by teens as they begin to establish mature personal and professional relationships.–John Kiefman, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the most practical and thorough book I've ever read about the crucial first encounter with a person. The only other book on the subject of relationships that I got as much out of is Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends and Influence People". But "First Impressions" is about getting off on the right foot, and it does a great job of explaining just how to do it.
It seems that a ton of books pay lip service as to WHY the first impression is so important. But then none of them go on for more than a page or two to explain WHAT to do about it. Have you ever read a REALLY GOOD analysis of what's happening during that first conversation? I hadn't -- not until I read this book.
I bought this book because I wanted to improve my "meeting people" skills. I found that the book applied to business encounters, dating, interviewing, and virtually any time I want to make a good impression with someone I'm meeting for the first time.
I don't have a high opinion of many self-help books because too often they turn out to be only simplistic, common-sense anecdotes. But this book is different. It is a thorough, readable, practical guide about how to successfully begin a social or business relationship, and I whole-heartedly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
Being a cynic and a successful business man I had some reservations about this genre of books but this one is exceptionally well written and I read it cover to cover in just a few hours. So if the book only contained a single good idea it would be worth reading. The thing is: This little gem contains more good ideas than I can count, so it is definitely worth the time and money!
"First impressions" is great not because it contains useful advice but also because it makes me think about the way I interact with clients and that alone is useful.
Great book, highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The information in this book sticks. I find myself in social situations that are a bit awkward and something from the book will come to mind, and I'll use it successfully to smooth the interaction. I'll be honest, I didn't put a ton of effort into "mastering" the skills. I'm an introvert, so I've spent a lot of time working on my social skills, and I read this book to find out what mistakes I might be making and where I could use improvement. Like I said, even without a lot of dedication, the information sticks, which is testament to the value of the book. I recommend it for anyone wanting to improve their people skills and check for things they might be doing wrong.

The book can be a little dry at times, but that's not unusual for self-help, which isn't always fun but is usually helpful. Many of the examples are very real-world and familiar to almost anyone, which makes it really easy to understand the points. I read the book a chapter at a time rather than trying to devour it all at once, which gave me more time to absorb the information. This was especially helpful since I wasn't deliberately practicing - it allowed time for little ah ha moments to crop up naturally and give me an opportunity to try out the techniques in the book. And the techniques work. I found that the book illustrated a lot of good points without a lot of fluff. Just good, practical advice on how to make your life easier in the social sphere.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be an interesting and effective guide to first impressions. While much of the content may seem obvious (like smiling when you meet someone), the book does a great job pointing out how many of the these seemingly apparent traits and behaviours--and some that are not so apparent--intertwine to create a first impression.
By no means will this book allow you to create a first impression with everyone you meet, but it will definately increase the odds. In addition, I found it makes first impressions a lot less nerve-wracking; after reading the book not only did I understand some of the things I could do to make a better first impression, but also came to understand some of the things other people do to make them difficult and what I can do to make them more positive (or at least identify when I should cut my losses).
While the book is no pancea for positive social interaction, based on the combination of simple psychological concepts, real-life examples and good presentation, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand (and improve) the first impressions he or she makes.
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Format: Hardcover
No matter what your lot in life is if you want to hold your end in a conversation you need to read this book.Whether your at a party and having casual talk, having a business meeting or a first date even if you think you are a great talker this will help.
The book shows how to start a conversation all the way to the end it shows how body langauge affects peoples view of you along with other aspects and how they affect your conversation everything as the flow the topics you talk about and even how sex appeal has bearing on it.
At the end of each chapter there is a checklist that you can fill out to see what areas you may need to work on.
These methods seem pretty sensible and must work as the two ladies who have written this book have a consulating business observing people and how they handle conservation.This will be one of those books that you will keep handy on your bookshelf and refer back to again and again. I definitely recommend this book
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