Ever dreamed about being the person many look up to? – the one that everyone wants to talk with: whether for advice or just because they feel comfortable around you. Want to become a more effective leader, a better friend or more connected lover?
1. Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain
When you are displeased, it is much easier to criticize and condemn than it is to try to understand the other person’s viewpoint. It is frequently easier to find fault than to find praise. It is more natural to talk about what you want than to talk about what the other person wants. Next time you criticize or condemn, remember this proverb: “Abilities wither under faultfinding, blossom under encouragement.”
2. Understand the Other Person’s Point of View
I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what the fish wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or a grasshopper, in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?” Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people? If there is any 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.
3. Become Genuinely Interested In Other People
Talk to people about themselves and in terms of their interests. Make the other person feel important-and do it sincerely. Do this and they’ll listen to you for hours.
4. Practice Being a Little More Courteous
Little phrases such as “I’m sorry to trouble you,” “Would you be so kind as to ___? ” “Won’t you please?” ” Would you mind?,” “Thank you” – little courtesies like these oil the cogs of the monotonous grind of everyday life- and, incidentally, they are the hallmark of good breeding.
5. Remember Names Of the People you Interact With
A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
6. Try to Avoid Arguing
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will. If you tell them they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? Never! For you have struck a direct blow at their intelligence, judgment, pride and self-respect. That will make them want to strike back. But it will never make them want to change their minds. You may then hurl at them all the logic of a Plato or an Immanuel Kant, but you will not alter their opinions, for you have hurt their feelings. So figure it out for yourself. Which would you rather have, an academic, theatrical victory or a person’s good will? You can seldom have both. Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love,” and a misunderstanding is never ended by an argument but by tact, diplomacy, conciliation and a sympathetic desire to see the other person’s viewpoint.
7. Be Humble, Not Overconfident
When Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House, he confessed that if he could be right 75 percent of the time, he would reach the highest measure of his expectation. If that was the highest rating that one of the most distinguished men of the twentieth century could hope to obtain, what about you and me? If you can be sure of being right only 55 percent of the time, you can go down to Wall Street and make a million dollars a day. If you can’t be sure of being right even 55 percent of the time, why should you tell other people they are wrong?
8. Refrain From Telling Others How to Behave or What to Think
“Men must be taught as if you taught them not and things unknown proposed as things forgot.”
9. Quit Putting Off Your Showing of Gratitude
Try leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily trips. You will be surprised how they will set small flames of friendship that will be rose beacons on your next visit. Forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,” and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime – repeat them years after you have forgotten them.
Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds. Especially when that someone is under pressure from his bosses, his customers, his teachers or parents or children, a smile can help him realize that all is not hopeless – that there is joy in the world.
-Inspired by Dale Carnegie
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