I’d heard of this book numerous times and it was recommended to me by a few people, so I finally decided to read it…and I’m glad I did.
This book was published in 1936…which scared me off at first (thinking that a book that old would be boring and out of touch), but it’s amazing how relevant this information still is! My first thought as I was reading through it was….DUH! Who doesn’t know these things. Here’s a very brief review of my favourite parts of the book.
How to make people like you: Smile. Be genuinely interested in other people. Remember a person’s name (so hard!). Be a good listener (even harder!). Encourage others to talk about themselves, and then talk to them about their interests. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
DUH…right?! These are things that have worked forever (since before 1936 apparently!), but so many people either don’t do them or suck at them…myself included!
To to win people to your way of thinking: Welcome a disagreement, but avoid an argument….think about that. Who wants a disagreement? But who can welcome a disagreement without an argument? That’s a tough one to wrap my head around!
Here are a few tips from the book to help you accomplish this…distrust your first instinct which is usually to become defensive, control your temper, listen first to what they have to say (wait…didn’t I already mention listening?!), look for areas you can agree, sincerely promise to think about their ideas and try to see things from their point of view, be honest (if you screwed up admit it!), postpone any action until both sides have had a chance to think about the conversation. One quote stuck with me on this… “anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things you are”…so use this to your advantage and get their help to come up with a solution.
How to be an effective leader: There are so many books on this topic! There are some interesting points that I took away from this particular book. There are lots of other good ones, but these were my favourites:
– I had heard of this before and read about it in this book…If you have to criticize, use praise before you criticize and replace the word “but” with “and”. The word “but” is extremely powerful and will completely ruin anything you said before it. Think about times that you’ve heard or said “but” and change the sentence to replace it with “and”. Completely changes the tone/meaning, doesn’t it!
– Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. The comment “we praise a dog for the slightest improvement and it works! Why don’t we do that for humans?” Ya, why don’t we?!
I could bore you and elaborate on all of these ideas, but this post is already plenty long enough…and you really should read the book! Within the chapters it delves into more great information on how to accomplish these tasks and why they’re so important (in case you didn’t think they were!).
If you’ve read the book please share your favourite things about it!