People Skills for Today’s Wired World

Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World
By Kirt Manecke
(Solid Press LLC, 2014 – Learn more)

Reviewed by Kelly Lang

My best friend’s kids are going to look for their first jobs this summer. This book came at just the right time for them. It is a handbook directed towards teens. Any teen looking to feel more confident at school and at work will enjoy this book. Any teen interested in developing people skills will love this quick-read guide to success.

The goal of the book is to offer young people practical tips and advice on techniques that will help to get and to keep a job, develop confidence, and receive positive feedback from friends, teachers, employers and customers.

The writer divides the book into sections which can be read in any order depending on interest and need. It is a practical and straightforward guide book aimed at helping young people in developing people skills.

The first section provides the reader with a useful “Top Ten People Skills” list. This is the perfect opener for the guide book. It shows the value of the smile, eye contact, turning off the electronics, handshakes, introductions and the very valuable, though sometimes underrated, “please and thank you.”

The next chapter gives good advice on how to choose and get a job including helpful interview advice. Chapters three, four, and five offer tips on keeping that job by focusing on the basics of customer service.

Chapter six touches on dealing with complaints and returns, and chapter seven gives the reader some inspiration to find personal passions and find a cause for which the reader would like to volunteer in hopes of making the world a better place.

This handbook is teen-friendly with strategies, tips and techniques that teens today can use to develop their social skills and to make a positive first impression. It’s attractive and colorful. It is organized well with funny drawings that help illustrate the points. It has a great feel, and it’s small and light. I loved it, and so did the teens I shared it with. The best part is that one of my young friends applied for and got his first job!

Kelly Lang is an international physical education teacher and coach. She has been teaching grades 1-12 for the past eighteen years. Her experience includes teaching in Switzerland, Germany, Hungary and Oman. In the last five years she has specialized in working with ages 11-18. She enjoys promoting a growth mindset and self-efficacy with her students.


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