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by Vault Careers | January 19, 2011


Can you stand another title promising to improve interpersonal skills? I didn't think I could.

Books on the subject are generally inconsiderate enough to add charts and exercises that force you to tick boxes, write notes and flip pages to tally a score as a prelude to being provided the obligatory psycho-dynamic personality profile. I don’t know about you, but if I wanted to bare my weaknesses for everyone, I would blog or write a diary.

96 All-New Little Tricks for Big Success in RelationshipsHappily, the author does us a favor by doing away with research-speak and getting right into the promised "tricks."

In fact, the table of contents lets you skip chapters as you please with clear topics outlined for those who like to skim through self-help books. So, if you are already great at 'hiding the fact you haven’t a clue what they are talking about' (page 122) and prefer to jump ahead to 'how to avoid big cats considering you commonplace' (page 216), go ahead.

Unlike other books, you aren’t penalized for short-cutting right to the chapter that interests you most.

The field tests I conducted encountered positive results. One example had me add syllables to an initial greeting. Instead of replying with a 'Nice to meet you,' I said "It is a pleasure to meet you as well, Jim." Simple, yet surprisingly, I did notice greater receptivity and a stronger connection each time.

Although I'm not quite ready for the author's suggested handshake method (you’ll have to read that on your own), I did find that just about every tip was easy to adopt. You may not see immediate or noticeable payoff for every trick, but over time, following Lowndes' advice will ease your upward path and may even help you gain the opportunity that otherwise might have passed you over.

As for length and depth, it is a fast, uncomplicated read featuring small, actionable tips anyone can put to practical use. If you prefer vastly complex, jargon-filled analysis however, this book isn't for you.

If you want to make a better impression at work and at home right now, this could be the right book for you.

--Jacques Aboaf,


Filed Under: Networking