One of the very first books that I read on this journey to find myself was Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People. I have to admit that I probably couldn’t have chosen any better book to begin with. Although many books can be read and if really thought out could be considered “common sense”, the examples, explanations and reinforcement this book has are undeniably excellent. The book has a set of rules which should be followed if you are looking to make the most out of it, one of which states to read each chapter twice. I did! I gravitated to the book at every spare second that I could afford because after reading a short amount I felt like I had been missing out on such an abundance of knowledge that I needed to be fully immersed.
There are so many great tips and gold nuggets in this book that it would be extremely difficult to really do the book any justice in such a short blog post, so I am going to just pick out a few points that that stuck with me the most.
“Don’t Criticize, Condemn, or Complain”, such a basic and simple concept yet very few people live their lives with this as their mantra. I feel that just by following these three things can immediately make a persons life exponentially better. We all live in our own individual heads thinking that the world revolves around us, it DOESN’T. Complaining about someone else’s behaviour or criticizing them for their effort will ONLY bring bad things upon you. Sure you may win the argument but not only will that person resent you, they will do very little in the way of helping you out if that time comes. Condemning someone by speaking poorly about them or “throwing them under the bus” may initially get you out of the hot seat but you are making yourself look bad to the person you are talking to. No one wants to share important things to those who blab. If we can suck up our pride, take 100% responsibility for EVERYTHING in our lives, and see the positive in everyone, then we can expect no less than good things from those around us.
Becoming a great leader, and getting people to follow your way of thinking can seem to be very difficult. If you stick with the above paragraph, add in complimenting people and their ideas, than being the great leader becomes effortless. People love to hear about themselves, be praised, talked about, and listened to. If you can do these things than you are almost guaranteed to be someone that others will want to follow. Seems almost counter intuitive doesn’t it; follow someone else if you want to be followed. Well it isn’t I promise.
When you first meet someone that you want to impress upon, that person really doesn’t care one bit about you or what you have to offer them, even if it is instantly going to make their life better. People are so self indulged that in order to get through to them we have to show them how important they are before we get what we want. It isn’t done on purpose because most believe that they are naturally kind, caring and giving people, which can be true but often it is hidden behind a wall of insecurities and own self worth. So when you meet someone, you have to show that you actually care about them, what they enjoy, and what they are passionate about. And you have to be sincere; no one enjoys being patronized.
Before trying to get your interest across, ask them about themselves, notice pictures on their walls of their children or fishing trophies, let them revel in their own lives before you get to yours. Often you may not even get to yours, and the next time you see them, get into theirs again. Soon enough they will associate you with good feelings and they will be willing to do anything for you because you have brought them happiness.
So if you can put into practice these four C’s that I have mentioned then you will begin to have a life full of new, prosperous relationships. Again, I really haven’t given Dale Carnegie’s book any justice in this post but I hope that just a slight amount of insight will show how beneficial this book is and can be a lasting resource to continually look back upon for years.