Sunday, August 22, 2010

How to make friends and influence people

I've already blogged a bit about this book. Glad to have finally read it -- was a good reminder of everything I already know, but DO NOT DO. Been trying to apply it at work especially, with limited success. Here are a few points that stood out for me.

1. never criticize condemn or complain
The book really means NEVER, even when someone asks for feedback. Criticism sparks defensiveness which erodes peace. When I think of the great people I know I can't imagine them tearing a strip off of anyone. In fact when they express disappointment, there's never any blame. One of the many examples that comes to mind is an incident whereby a prominent businessman, Charles Schwaub found some men smoking in one of his factories, right under the no smoking sign. He didn't point to the sign and chew them out, he handed them each a cigar and politely asked them if they would smoke them outside. Jesus! Who doesn't love people like this! I would never think of doing something like that.

2. avoid arguments
No one feels good after an argument -- winners don't really win and usually the loser resents losing and ends up holding onto their position even tighter. I think I'm getting better with this because I am less opinionated (which is at the same time sad). There are so many things I just don't care about. It also easier to let things go when you don't identify with your beliefs. "I'm probably wrong" isn't a bad way to think about things. You can at least appreciate hearing the other person's viewpoint by being receptive.

3. give honest and sincere appreciation
Flattery is not appreciation and nobody likes to be flattered. Sincerity is KEY. Who doesn't want to be recognized and made to feel important. I like this quote:
"Every person I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him."

4. arouse in the other person an eager want
Forget about what you want, no one is interested. Everyone is only interested in themselves. As Dr. Phil would say, figure out what their 'currency' is. This is how I feel about my job lately. I'm sick of slamming the IM agenda down people's throats. Nobody is listening! How about finding out what their needs are and determining how we can be of service at at the same time meet our goals?

I think I'd like to take a course in selling -- something like 'Everybody Sells'. It's not where I see my career going, but I want to be more persuasive and at the same time have peace in my dealings with others. There are also some courses on coaching and leadership offered at work ... might do those too ... anything to avoid actually working :-)

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