I was recently reading Dale Carnegie's book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. This book has helped thousands, if not million of individuals live more effective and happy lives. Whenever there is a survey of the most influential or inspiring books, this book consistently make the top five and is often second only to the Bible.
The section titled, “Six Ways to Make People Like You”, reveals the following rules for building bonds of friendship.
As you go through these rules, rate yourself in each area on a scale of 1 and 10 (1 = lowest, 10 = highest) that best defines your use of each rule.
- Become interested in other people. Note that he doesn't say “act interested”, but rather “become interested”. This is a powerful but hard to follow suggestion as we all have a tendency to focus on what we want, and how we can get others interested in us and what we’re doing. One rule I learned early in my career is “To be interesting to others, be interested in others.”
- Smile There's probably nothing as positive and contagious as a smile. If you have trouble smiling sincerely, get your mind out of the dumps and think about something that will make you smile.
- Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. If you are not good at remembering people's names, this is a skill you need to develop. We tend to try to remember names of only those people that we consider important. If you follow the lives of the most successful communicators, you’ll find that they made it a point of remembering the names of everyone they meet. What these great communicators have come to realize is that if we divide people into “important” and “not as important” and remember only those names you value, you're at an enormous disadvantage – in addition to being a snob.Suggestion: Write the name down as soon as you can. This can help lock it into your mind. I know of one very successful salesperson that, after he gets someone’s business card, writes the name on the back three times.
- Be a good listener and encourage people to talk about themselves. Most people do not need much encouragement to talk about themselves, but those who do will likely thank you for such a great conversation. This rule does not mean that we never talk about ourselves, we do. Others need to get to know us as people and professionals before they will do business with us or send business our way. But you’ll find if you apply the 80/20 rule to your onversations (80% about them and 20% about you), you’ll be a very well liked person.
- Talk in terms of the other person's interests. Reignite your childhood curiosity, and ask questions! Learn what others are interested in and spend a few minutes each day researching those topics so you have something to discuss the next time you meet. As you do your research, save any articles or Web sites that you find in their area of interest and share them with them.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely. Notice the talents and abilities of others. Show gratitude to the postman for delivering your mail. Thank your waitress for the great service. If you know their name, use it (remember Rule 3). If you can't find something to admire in another person, you're not looking hard enough.
Making friends of our customers and contacts starts with our liking them first and showing it by following the above six rules. Once you get your score in each area, I suggest you follow Benjamin Franklin’s approach and work on improving your score in each rule for one week. In six weeks you’ll have gone through the list. Try this for ninety days and watch your relationships blossom.
Food For Thought: “People Will Forget What You Said, People Will Forget What You Did, but People Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel.” Maya Angelou. How are you going to make the people you come into contact with feel today?
Carnegie's tips serve as a powerful reminder for how we can all do our part in making our corner of the world a better place.
I hope you found this article to be informative and helpful, if so please share it on your social networks and add your comments and suggestions below.
To your Continued Success,