We are starting “How to Win Friends & Influence People”. Many of us have read this book and Mr. Carnegie said himself it’s a good idea to re-read the book frequently so as not to forget his points. In fact he said it would be good to read each chapter twice and after every point, pause and think about how you could take that particular tip and who you are thinking of applying it to and what
you will say to that person. As a finishing touch, he suggested making notes as to how things turned out. I will be blogging an outline of his book with some of my thoughts or some thoughts he mentioned. I find that putting a little context or story around each point makes it easier to recall. So let’s go…
Fundamental Principles in Handling People
1. Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain. This first principle is a tough one, isn’t it. Carnegie suggests we try to understand people and why they do what they do. He thoughtfully points out that if we put ourselves in another’s shoes, we might think differently of them. If you know someone’s background, it usually makes it easier to understand why they think of something in a particular way.
2. Give honest and sincere appreciation. People will spot insincerity instantly, so be observant and figure out someone’s good points or something favorable they’ve done. Have you noticed that if a co-worker, boss or friend gives you a compliment about your work or project, it makes you want to try to do something else that will stand out? But if you make a mistake or if someone finds fault, the motivation isn’t there—in fact, it could have the opposite effect . All of us like an ‘attaboy’ instead of a criticism and we’ll work better with praise.
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want. With this principle, it’s you (or me), who actually wants someone to do something. Maybe it’s a product or service you have you think someone would benefit from. Perhaps you want a child to become responsible for a chore. Mr. Carnegie is quick to point out that he’s not promoting manipulation, instead he says what we’re trying to do should result in a win/win for both parties. One of the stories he related was of two salespeople selling the same insurance policy. It was a brand-new product developed for executives. One salesman casually told an executive about it and said since it was so new, he’d have to do some research on it. The second salesman saw the same executive and was so excited and pumped about this new product and told the man how it was so new that he would have an executive from his insurance company come over the next day and explain it, but since it would be so beneficial to him, he needed to fill out his application on the spot, let Underwriting take a look and then it could be tailored to his needs. The second salesman got the sale because he was enthusiastic about it and framed his words so that the executive just had to have it right away.
Applying Carnegie’s Principles In My Life
Reading this story and a couple others he had reminded me of how I practiced this principle quite unknowingly and as a result, got a client. When I was going through the 20-week course on how to get my business established, I would talk about it to a friend on a weekly basis, telling him the type of work/lessons I was doing that week and why I was learning it and the benefit my clients would gain with me helping them with administrative chores. I was pretty excited about my course and so talked about it quite a bit. When I neared completion, I was really surprised when he said he thought it would be good for him to have me help him out with his business! My enthusiasm for what I was doing got him thinking about his own situation and how having me would help him out. I wasn’t even trying to ‘sell’ him. I had a genuine passion for what I was doing and it was noticed. Lesson learned!
Next week we’ll look at the six ways to make people like you. Some are amazingly common sense.
If you have a comment or story to relate about one of these principles, please share a comment so we will all benefit.