“Simply put, how you leave other people feeling and how people perceive you have a profound effect on the quality of your life,” declares the jacket blurb on Jesse Ferrell’s How You Leave Them Feeling. Ferrell encourages readers to adopt his approach in any interaction.The goal is to leave each person feeling good about himself and thus feeling good about you. When you do this, Mr. Ferrell maintains, you will be on the way to living the life you deserve, getting what you want out of life, and “living the good life now.”
Ferrell begins with a rousing introduction in which he explains the idea of the book. He describes how he saw that his own success was based on his ability to consistently leave clients and others feeling good about themselves. Then he sets the table for the main course by listing the principles on which he has built his own life. (He calls them the “Seven Essential Laws of Life”.)
In the 13 chapters that follow, he delivers the details of his Seven Essential Laws and explains how they relate to leaving others feeling good about themselves and you. He explores subjects of attitude, communication, personal and professional development, building a support network, maintaining a healthy balance in life and more, illustrating liberally with real-life anecdotes and summing up with bits of catchy wisdom.
Some memorable points of the book for me were:
- The idea of the personal signature or unique style by which each of us becomes known.
- An emphasis on kindness and giving to others.
- The importance of attitude – along with a piece of good advice: “When in doubt, leave it out... it is far easier to revisit a situation and provide additional messages than it is to take back a wrongful or inappropriate remark stemming from an attitude glitch.”
- The importance of listening: “Sharpening your listening skills will bring you more respect and interpersonal growth than just about any other endeavor. People like to feel they are being heard. When you clearly listen to others, you are honoring the power of communication by investing the time to take in their message.”
- The challenge to leave everything – and everyone – better than you found them.
The readability of Ferrell’s practical and crisply written material is helped by consistent organization and formatting. The text is laid out with lots of white space between paragraphs and broken up with bold-face headings. The main points of each chapter are listed again at the conclusion as action steps. A list of summary points (one-sentence statements that describe how following the actions steps will impact the reader’s behavior) and affirmations (brief positive statements for the reader to repeat or reflect on) conclude each chapter.