photo: Chronicles Of Her
There are so many popular books on navigating the tricky adult world of getting people to like you. We all know that mirroring body language is the ultimate way to get people on board, but it seems much harder than it was when we were kids. On my travels recently I dipped into a bookstore and came out with armfuls of books, from fiction to non-fiction. And I happened to pick up How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
It’s a best-seller for a reason, so here are some of the things I learned from reading…
Make people like you
The word ‘make’ seems a little harsh, but the basic principles of making someone like you can also be categorized under ‘be nice’. Dale advises that you talk about others more than yourself, smile, and make people feel important. This is also a quick way to be a great leader. “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Once people like you, it’s important to build those relationships. So again, you have to keep up those bonds, don’t criticize people, be kind and grateful and try to build relationships without the thought of getting something out of them.
In order to win ‘followers’, you can’t be biased against people and you should avoid conflicts. He recommends letting others control the conversation, taking other people’s points of view and agreeing with their arguments and bringing healthy and positive competition. In this way, you aren’t a threat or an aggressor, and people will respond more positively to you.
“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” Dale really warns against arguments, he says that you can never win an argument, even if you do, you still lose. Arguments make you look bad and the more people hear about it the lower your reputation becomes.
Be a leader
Being a leader is hard, it’s something we all struggle with. Managing people isn’t as easy as it seems, but Dale has some good tips to help first-time managers. He says to start with praise and praise each little improvement. When it comes to criticism speak about mistakes face-to-face and be open and honest, while you’re criticizing someone bring up your own mistakes to make them realize you’re human.
Make sure that you care about the reputation of employees who are dismissed, fired, or have left, give colleagues leadership goals and make new employees want to strive to be better. It’s simple really, it’s about honesty, openness and caring about who you’re leading. Instead of criticism, Dale says you should “give honest and sincere appreciation.”
Interesting, huh? He often talks about the fact that if you talk about other people, they’ll listen to you for hours. So if you’re struggling to draw people to you, try a few of these tricks!