Author Sanxing Sun’s thesis in this career management book is that no matter how qualified talented skilled and prepared one may be whether or not one is actually successful will depend more on how one is perceived by others than on one’s actual abilities. As he quotes from Italian statesperson and political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli: “The great majority of mankind is satisfied with appearances as though they were realities.”
That being the case Sun has brought insight wisdom and practical experience to the task of equipping readers with the understanding and skills needed to make an immediate and lasting positive impression on those upon whom career success depends as well as the more difficult task of changing a less than stellar earlier impression.
The “primacy effect” which describes the universal human tendency to make quick and highly change-resistant judgments about others also results in greater weight being given to these early impressions. Consequently changing assumptions based on these early judgments requires one to make a major and perhaps even shocking new impression. Sun states that “The more you make others look at you in amazement the more effectively you can change their former beliefs about you.”
For those just entering the workforce or changing careers Sanxing Sun has taken the mystery out of creating a good first impression. Like a wise kind mentor Sun presents skills not usually taught in school but which underlie career success at all organizational levels. Many of these skills could be considered “common sense” and are performed automatically by some yet others truly qualified for career success must learn them if they are ever to achieve their goals. For example Sun teaches how to activate people’s “positive-thinking modes” when giving presentations making it more likely that a proposal will be accepted.
Some of the author’s suggestions are more counter-intuitive including: “Don’t directly say you don’t know the answer even if you truly don’t know.” He presents methods that offer graceful ways out of such difficulties necessary because those present will not remember the details of a question but will always remember when someone admits ignorance.
As a guide to office etiquette task organization effective communication and workplace relationships this work is invaluable. For those seeking the keys to living up to their full potential Sanxing Sun shows just how to create the lasting positive impression that will invariably result in an easier rise to career success and greater personal satisfaction.