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Book Review: Put Your Best Foot Forward by Dr. Jo-Ellan Dimitrius and Mark Mazzarella

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Put Your Best Foot Forward: Make a Great Impression by Taking Control of How Others See You by Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, PhD, and Mark Mazzarella, is an informative book aimed at teaching about how people judge you and what can be done to impact their impressions positively. The authors reviewed scientific and popular literature, performed over 10,000 interviews and analyzed thousands of questionnaire and survey responses to arrive at conclusions.

The foundations of a great impression are trust, caring, humility, and capability. Impressions of you derive from appearance, body language, voice, communication techniques, communication content, action and the environment. To be perceived as trustworthy, you must be reliable and honest.

The most entrenched stereotypes and prejudices are based on the actual experience of the person who harbors them. Intuition arises when years of experience stored behind the curtain of our subconscious percolates from the deep recesses when our memory is presented with similar experiences.

The key ingredients to a great impression are ranked by the authors. These are sincerity, caring, reliability, interest, intelligence, competence, humility, friendliness, confidence, and some level of attraction. The significance of the study can be found in what characteristics people rate the highest and lowest in importance.

The authors spent a lot of time discussing important attributes for leaders. Leaders are doers. They project confidence without being too pushy. A leader watches over the flock and makes others feel that they are cared for deeply. A leader trusts others to succeed. Leaders are enthusiastic, capable, and lead by example.

First impressions tend to last for a variety of reasons. Others form stereotypical associations about you that are based on emotions. Once emotional impressions are formed, these color rational analysis. People tend to assume that their first impressions are correct. Once first impressions are formed about you, people search for validations of those impressions, consciously or not.

There are six important steps to making a great impression according to the authors. These steps include learning to see yourself as others experience or view you. Be clear about your objectives. Know your audience. Create an individualized impression management plan for each different encounter. Roll with the punches.

Put Your Best Foot Forward is a wonderful book which greatly simplifies the human complexities involved in interpersonal communications in almost every context. The authors are persuasive in conveying easy rules of engagement to maximize the positive dimensions of impressions all of us create with people in almost every life context.

About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.