To start off I will admit that I did not expect to like this book what so ever. The title alone with no background sounds honestly boring. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but a title about making friends sounds sad and did not motivate me to read. However, as I read I really enjoyed the book. The over all concept of the book really helped put myself in place for not only my everyday life but for work as well. As I have said before, I work in a car dealership and I am the first person you see when you walk into the dealership. Although I like to think that I do a decent job at smiling at customers, the customer service field is challenging. Personally, I do have a slightly short temper. Although working on it for many years, it still rears its ugly head at times. Specifically at times when I am very busy and a customer wants to have a full blown conversation prolonging their time at my desk. I do what i can to humor the customer and make comments about what they are conversing about but I never really noticed that I am mostly on autopilot when speaking with them. I have an un-genuine smile, mostly the smile that has no true emotion or compassion behind it, one that everyone can tell is not true. In addition, I also saw this come out in my second job of being a nanny. Don’t get me wrong, I am over enthusiastic and playful with the children but I don’t believe that I am showing the same enthusiasm with the parents. We converse and talk about the children but I don’t recall ever talking to them about their work or their family which is something I know for a fact is important to them. To reflect on that, one of the families I work for is a singe mother who shares a home with her father. The mother is who i meet during the day when I arrive to work and the grandfather is the one who comes home later that night and releases me from work. I can honestly say I do not know the grandfathers name. I never even thought to ask.
Carrying on into my personal life, my family and friends have an ongoing joke about how unpleasant my face looks when I am not expressing emotion, “resting jerk face”. Although this is a joke and i find it funny, I now see that outside of my close personal friendships, many people perceive me as uninviting and unfriendly simply because I am not taking the time to make the effort to smile. People always say how it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile and it not only takes more muscles but it takes away more encounters and possibly friendships from your life by simply choosing not to smile.
Outside of my personal life and taking a look into the things that really stuck with me within chapter one was the sentence “criticism is futile because it puts a person the defense and usually makes them strive to justify himself”. We so easily criticize the moment we are not fond of the outcome or service. Many of these examples and situations really showed how appraisal and appreciation prove far more effective than criticism; not only is it ore effective but easier on the individual giving feedback. If you have something to share appreciation on then you, the one giving feedback, had to choose that specific topic to begin with, therefore you should choose something that interests you.
One thing I never really took time to think on was the concept of cheap flattery rather than honest appreciation. I try to complement customers on things they wear on their car or very common items or topics but I don’t have a true passion or appreciation for the things I comment on and I don;t have anything new to start a conversation on or appreciate since I’m not taking the time to learn what the individual is interested in from the beginning.
Aside from the things that I learned I wanted to mention the parts I enjoyed. I personally found all of the personal stories very helpful. Generally in most forms of educational literature, the author just rambles on information expecting you to retain it all without an explanation of how to apply these pointers. In addition to offering specific key points and things to implement, the author also offered actual accounts of how the key points worked in addition to how they were implemented.
Overall, I was very fond of this book and found this writing to not only be helpful for my work now but my future career and even ways to better my personal life.