Thursday, November 13, 2008

How to Win Friends and Influence People... be kind

by Dale Shumaker

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie was first published in 1937. Carnegie conducted years of research in how to deal with people. He started out as a training school to teach speaking skills, but his surveys showed the biggest problem people faced on a regular basis is getting along and dealing with people. Of all the books on effective business skills this one is being read even today as the best... tested, tried and proven... work on having influence and being effective in interpersonal relationships from the CEO to house wife, to customer service to school teacher. Here are the fundamentals to winning loyal friendships and influence with people in work and life.

Principle #1: Don't criticize, condemn or complain. Criticism is futile because it puts people on the defensive. Criticism is like the homing pigeon. It always finds its way back home. Instead of condemning people, try to understand them. Try to figure out why they do what they do. It breeds tolerance, sympathy and kindness.

Principle #2: Give honest and sincere appreciation. The only way to get people to do something is make them want to do it. Be anxious to praise and loath to find fault. Be hearty in commendation and lavish in praise. "Every person I meet is my superior in some way, learn from them."(Emerson)
Try to figure out the other person's good points. Give honest sincere appreciation.

Principle #3: Arouse in the other person an eager want. Talk about what people want and show them how to get it. "If there is one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own." If you can arouse an eager want in the other person, you will have the whole world with you. He who does not will walk alone. Self expression is the dominant necessity of human nature. When we have a brilliant idea instead of making it ours, let others see it as theirs and let them cook and stir it.

Six ways to make people like you.
Principle #1: Become genuinely interested in other people. When you meet people or answer the phone use a tone of voice that makes people feel you are excited to meet or talk to them. With eye contact and attentive expression of listening, make the person see and feel you care about what they are saying. If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real friendships, if you want to help others at the same time you help yourself, be genuinely interested in other people.

Principle #2: Smile, if you want to make a good first impression. Smiling even affects your voice when on the telephone. When you have a good time meeting people, with a friendly face, that's a smiling expression, people enjoy meeting you. People like being around happy people, and smiling expresses happiness. Control your thoughts and by thinking you like this person, your smile expresses it on your face. Practice smiling where you go and to everyone you meet. A smile brings a smile from another.

Principle #3: Remember names. A person's name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Say a person's name when you are introduced, or if you didn't hear it properly, ask them again to repeat their name, even ask them to spell it if it is unusual. Say the name several times in the conversation or meeting, and when you depart use their name in your departing comments. When you address a person, call them by their name. This one principle is what made Dale Carnegie famous... those who master this have much influence in their relationships.

Principle #4: Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves. We not only will learn a lot, but it is one of the highest compliments we can pay anyone. Give exclusive attention to the person you are talking to. Empathize and express that you know how the other people feels. People you are talking to are more interested in themselves and their problems than you and your problems. To be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener, be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that the other person will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.

Principle #5: Talk in terms of the other person's interests. Talking in terms of the other person's interests pays off for both parties.You will get a different reward from each person, but be enlarged by the other person as you speak to them.

Principle #6: Make the other person feel important... and do it sincerely. This is a sure bet formula to make others like you instantly. This is reflected in the Golden Rule to do to others as you would have them do to you. We all want to feel important and when we make others feel important around us we are wielding great power when we express heartfelt, sincere appreciation. Show someone how important they are. Talk to people about themselves and they will listen to you for hours.

How to Win people to your way of thinking.
Principle #1: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. Remember, you can't win an argument. Nine times out of ten an argument ends with each of the contestants more convinced than ever that he is exactly right. How to keep disagreements from being arguments? Welcome the disagreement. Distrust your first instinctive impressions. Control your temper. Listen first. Look for areas of agreement. Be honest. Promise to think over your opponents ideas and study them carefully. Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem. Every one has something that's right. Find it and combine what's right from each other.

Principle #2: Show respect for the other person's opinion and never say "You're wrong." If you absolutely are convinced someone is wrong, start out by saying, "Well, I may be wrong and many times I am, but could we look at the facts here." Use diplomacy. When we are wrong, we may admit it to ourselves. And if we are handled gently and tactfully, we may admit it to others and even take pride in our frankness. When someone tries to slam it down our throats that we are wrong, we resent it and fight back. Don't tell people they are wrong, ask questions, listen, suggest alternative ideas... "What would you think if..."

Principle #3: If you are wrong admit it quickly and emphatically. When we are right, try to win people gently and tactfully to our way of thinking. When we are wrong admit it quickly and with enthusiasm. "By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expect."

Principle #4: Begin in a friendly way. A drop of honey catches more. Scolding and domineering people need to realize that people don't want to change their minds and force is met with stubbornness. They can't be forced or driven to agree with you. But they may possibly be led to, if we are gentle and friendly, ever so gently and ever so friendly. The sun can make you take off your coat more quickly than the wind; and kindness, the friendly approach and appreciation can make people change their minds more readily than all the bluster and storming in the world."

Principle #5: Get the other person saying "Yes, Yes" immediately. When talking to people, don't start by addressing the things you differ on, but emphasize the things you agree on. The word No creates instant rejection to anything else we say. Yes, opens the mind and heart for acceptance to what we say. The Socrates method was to ask questions he would get a yes with. Ask a gentle question that will get a yes. The Chinese proverb, "He who treads softly goes far."

Principle #6: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking. Let the other person talk themselves out. They know more about their business and life than you do. Ask others to share their joys with you and talk about your accomplishments when asked. Talk less, listen sincerely more, and care about the other person's life.

Principle #7: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers. This is the fastest road to getting cooperation. Give someone only a part of your idea and ask them to share more that would make it complete. Then take their suggestions, and give them credit for having a great idea. Provide suggestions on how to make it work, get their feedback and then give them credit for their ideas again. Make it their idea and they will make it happen for you. Plant the idea casually in someone's mind. When they come back with an expansion of the idea, receive it enthusiastically and give them the credit.

Principle #8: Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view. Other people may be totally wrong, but try to look at it from their point of view. Try to understand them. Try honestly to put yourself in their place. See things from the other person's angle as well as yours.

Principle #9: Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires. "I don't blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do." Three fourths of the people you ever meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you. Even if someone is not kind to you, this will turn them around and you will win them over.

Principle #10: Appeal to nobler motives. When in a difficult situation and you have no information to prove otherwise, assume that people are sincere, honest, truthful and willing to make things right. People are honest and want to take care of their obligations. When people feel you see them as honest and upright, they in most cases respond in an honest and upright manner.

Principle #11: Dramatize your ideas. We are used to the movies doing it, so when we do it, we are noticed and remembered more. This is the day of dramatization. Merely stating a truth is not enough. The truth has to be made vivid, interesting and dramatic. The media does it and we need to do it too if we want attention. We can state the same facts, but when showmanship is used, it grabs attention and makes a stronger imprint on the other person.

Principle #12: Throw down a challenge. Create challenges for people. People want to excel and a challenge will stimulate incentive to do that. Friendly competition will do this. People don't want to be out done by someone else. We love to be in a game. The chance for self-expression, the chance to prove our worth, to excel, to win. This makes us feel important... and that others will notice.

Part four and final section of the book deals with how to be a leader and change people without giving offense and arousing resentment. The leader's job includes changing your people's attitude and behavior.The nine principles in a nutshell are:
1: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
2. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.
3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
4. Ask questions before giving direct orders.
5. Let the other person save face.
6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be "heartfelt instating approval and lavish in praise."
7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.To change attitudes or behavior: Be sincere. Know exactly what you what the other person to do. Be empathetic. Match the benefits to the other person's wants and that he understands how he benefits.

Of all the skills to develop, Dale Carnegie found in his years of research that the greatest skill is the skill to speak. The ability to speak is a shortcut to distinction. It puts a person in the limelight, raises one head and shoulders above the crowd. The person who can speak is usually given credit for an ability out of proportion to what he or she really possesses.

The Dale Carnegie website of current training available now:

In the Scriptures, Jesus said all He said was from the Father in Heaven.That The Heavenly Father told him what to say and
how to say it. "I don't speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it." (John 12: 49, NLT)

We would serve ourselves well to take time to reflect on what to say and how to say it. Carnegie, encouraged diplomacy in all matters and as you review his principles you see so much of what Jesus and Paul had to say in our dealings with people. The Apostle Paul even said to restore others gently. "Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are Godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself." (Galatians 6:1, NLT)
"Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will learn the truth." (2 Timothy 2:25, NLT)
When someone does error, we should be gentle, allow them to find their mistake themselves and then encourage them to continue the right path. Instead of standing around condemning them, pray for them. "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing."
(1 Thessalonians 5:11, NLT)

So much of all the New Testament is about restoring people and maintain positive relationships with all people. "When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some." (1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT)

It has become somewhat vogue in our society to be critical. In all things we should look to hope. Be of good cheer, Jesus said. He came to bring hope, a potential for a good future. The prophet Jeremiah said it, and Jesus said it. "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT)
"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35, NLT)

Jesus goes on to say He came to save the world, not judge it. Jesus said he came to bring us life, not death. And He said we would get a life of satisfaction filled to the brim. The best way to save people is to help redirect them, pray the Spirit of God speaks to them and changes the course of their hearts. By loving them, even when they are despicable, we will influence their hearts more.... that's where change begins.

We should consider this in dealing with everyone. Our place is to be kind in all things we do. Let the person save face. Be forgiving and when necessary to put up with each other. In writing the Ephesians and his Colossians letter, he puts an earmark on that. "Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32, NLT)
"Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." (Colossians 3:12, NLT)

This is Jesus' definition of Love expanded for us.
Again in Romans, Paul's summary highlights our human relations conduct. As the Scriptures say, "The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me." May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory." (Romans 15:3-7, NLT)

Why is this so important. All power is released when we work as units, one unit in harmony, instead of individually. So to work well as units, we need to create positive, respectful relationships with each other. And our voices carry a lot of weight in our dealing with those we talk to and even with those who are not visible. Our voice is like prayers. What we say about someone, even when they are absent from our presence, goes out to that person. If it is negative and puts the other person down, it creates a negative climate. Spirit can't work in negative climates. Well, it does, the human spirit does, but it works negatively, instead of positively. It works for destruction and not constructive to change and transformation. If what we say is positive,
it builds that person up. Our voice is like prayers and communicates Powerfully.

So be kind, considerate, gentle, gracious, diplomatic in all encounters.