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Reading Review: Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

Posted on Apr 23rd, 2023

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One of my focuses to bring my success at work, and in my personal relationships with people, has been to take a look at how to build relationships better. The key focus I found in Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated, happens to be focus on how I interact with people to become closer to them.

It has helped me find better ways to become a happier go lucky man, it has already opened doors for my in a lot of ways. The fact that it focuses on the mentality behind being open minded and curious, has led to being more proactive, creative, and resourceful, in finding ways to connect with other people.

From the proactive side it has helped me decide what questions to ask in my therapy sessions, as well as where to direct my research. One example is I realised I need to pay attention to my vocals more, and through an interactive session trying to work out what I can look for:

[…] In this context, a human might say “You can learn the habit to have a low, light-hearted, friendly tone when speaking by relaxing your throat and jaw muscles and breathing deeply from your diaphragm. […”]

One of my discussions as research

I decided I was intrigued with the broad explanation I received from my simple question. Approximately, how can I help people understand I am not intending on arguing with them. Through the long responses I was immediately intrigued with this notion as I had been attempting to stick to what I learned at my therapy sessions so far, which were the main areas focused on in the rest of the research results. This, being the first new thought, I tried it out.

The result, focusing on how I sound, I could hear the tone change immediately. Consider going from an A on a piano to an A#. The A has a dull tone compared to a slightly lighter tone from an A#. This was what I realised in an instant – my habit in conversation was to always breath using my chest primarily and so every time I talked to people it sounded like a lower, duller, tone as if it might be an argument. It became clear to me that how I always spoke to people at work it might have sounded unhappy, and argumentative, without me even realising it might not come across as a legitimate question.

Hold your hand on your chest, breath in into your stomach area holding the chest as static as you can, then talk. Listen to your tone, it helps with a lighter tone that sounds friendlier.

That being the main idea I learned from the book, the other key lessons I learned to stick to are always simple to understand:

  • Let people know when I don’t understand something immediately. It’s as easy as answering “I don’t quite understand what you mean,” or “I might not have head correctly…
  • When I need a moment to think carefully before I answer I must specify that I am thinking. Even as simple as “let me think about this,” or “let me consider it…
  • When I question things I must keep it in a lighter tone, like above, but also potentially ask it as a blatant question. Much like starting with “quick question,” or “if I may ask…

While it’s tough to bind this into my memory well, I have to read it out loud two or three times a day to succeed, this book helped me understand how to be better in communication in the office. I feel it already bringing great results for me every day. Never Eat Alone has brought a tremendously better mindset for my communication at work, and in my personal life, as a more friendly go lucky man. I’m sure it can help many people; it is most definitely worth a read or two.