By Terence-Liam Preece.
Its genius is in its simplicity. Its diverse appeal is in its ability to bring about life-defining breakthroughs. And the ease of applying the practical principles in How to Win Friends and Influence People has made Dale Carnegie’s classic work the best business book of the 20th century, as voted by business class passengers of British Airways.
Its advocates include some of those on Australia’s Top 200 wealthiest list; the world’s largest individual investor; presidents and heads of government; elite athletes; and hundreds of thousands of successful business operators. Arguably, each understands the never-ending need to pursue the path of being the best that we can be. Personal or professional development is not a search for insights and information; it is the ongoing application of knowledge. When we turn theory into action, we are on the way to success.
Dale Carnegie, founder of the world’s largest performance coaching organization, grew up knowing struggle and poverty on a small, family farm. He understood that to improve our circumstances, we have to change ourselves. By learning to become genuinely more interested in people, we can identify what they want, and help them attain it. In doing so, if we take exemplary leadership of ourselves, we can become powerful influencers of
Start by Becoming a Friendlier Person
“If you want to gather honey, do not kick over the beehive.”
To illustrate, a manager who criticizes and condemns his employees, never offering any words of appreciation or encouragement, will only create fear and loathing. Low morale adversely affects the group’s initiative and performance. Simply changing to a more engaging way of communicating will create more acceptance of the expectations, producing better results through improved productivity and professional standards.
The first nine principles will help you build a loyal, enthusiastic and willing team:
1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
9. Make the other person feel important –
and do it sincerely.
Win People to Your Way of Thinking
“A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”
Almost without exception, our success in business involves negotiation. Whether presenting the virtues of our product or service, or attempting to influence an outcome that will impact on society – be it school or sports committee, civic duties or state affairs – our enduring success will be determined by our ability to win people to our way of thinking; and that can only occur when we have the other person’s interests in mind.
To begin negotiations, we must demonstrate that we are on the same side. There is no point in meeting head-to-head in discussion; consider how the tugboat sits to the side of the ocean liner, and yet it is able to navigate the much larger vessel to safe harbour.
So often we are tempted by an impulsive desire to react. “No, that is wrong” or “That is unfair! This is how it should be”. The secret is to remember whether we want to win the battle or the war. Stay focused on the big picture, keeping a clear view of what it is that we are striving to achieve, without distraction of misdirected emotions. Without doubt, emotions fuel our enthusiasm, but it is our values – our code of honour – that produces our resilience and makes us unassailable.
Consider the next twelve principles for winning thinking:
10. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
11. Show respect for the other person’s opinion. Never say, “You are wrong”.
12. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
13. Begin in a friendly way.
14. Get the other person saying, “Yes, yes”, immediately.
15. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
16. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
17. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
18. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
19. Appeal to the nobler motives.
20. Dramatize your ideas.
21. Throw down a challenge.
Becoming a Leader
“Be the person people want to follow”.
If we choose to become a leader, it is often because we believe we have something to provide for the greater good. It may also be in order to take control of our own destiny. Whatever the reason, it is obviously better to be a leader that people want to follow, rather than have to follow.
When we interact with others as effective leaders, we influence their attitude and performance, inspiring them to action by communicating from our heart. As a leader, we understand that we cannot motivate others, but we can find the reason why they will motivate themselves. In order to inspire others to follow us, we must genuinely care about them, their dreams and their visions.
Rarely is success sustainable when it is exclusively in the interests of an individual. The true leader often serves in the role of steward, focused on their own objectives, but consciously helping others to identify how they can achieve their dreams and goals. For that reason, it is vital to know who we are; to consciously determine the set of values that will be constant in the way we lead our life, whether connecting with family, friends, work colleagues, customers or supply partners, and, most importantly, with ourselves.
Great leaders reflect upon their own actions and performance. They take time to ask themselves, “What went well?”, and they do more of that. They ask themselves, “In what way could I do something better”, and they do more of that.
Consciously set aside some time for reflection and giving thanks everyday, for to lead others, we must first learn to lead ourselves. Consider the following principles:
22. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
23. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
24. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
25. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
26. Let the other person save face.
27. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.
28. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
29. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
30. Make the other person happy about doing the thing that you suggest.
How to Win Friends and Influence People has become the benchmark for learning how to express ideas, assume leadership, and arouse enthusiasm in people. Its principles are common sense, and if we make them common practice, we can join the millions of successful people who have achieved extraordinary results in their personal and professional lives.
Terence-Liam Preece is CEO of Dale Carnegie Training – New South Wales. From lessons learned in a career of media and marketing communications, he advocates that for business to be successful, it must internally reflect the values that the brand projects to its customers. For information regarding leadership, communications, sales, employee engagement and customer service, visit http://www.dalecarnegie.com.au.