Do any of you have an Alexa Echo? I got one for Christmas and even though I thought I wouldn’t use it that much, I’m constantly talking to her. She tells me the weather, gives me morning inspiration, helps me study Arabic, and reads me free Audible books, which brings me to this topic! My current one is How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Now, I’ve heard of this book a million times, I think I even have an ancient copy sitting around. But for me, I always think reading current books are more relevant. I should, however, recognize that if a book is still popular 80 years later, it probably has some EXTREMELY good wisdom.
As suspected, this book is quite enlightening. I would boil it down to treating others – not just as you want to be treated but – better than you want to be treated. The book discusses over and over again how the author used this tactic to achieve almost every one of his business deals. I wanted to talk about this subject today because I’ve already tested it and succeeded.
First off, how do you generally treat people? Be completely honest. Do you prefer to talk about them or yourself? Most likely, it’s yourself, and don’t feel bad about that, we all like talking about ourselves! If you said others, I would actually question if you’re being serious. EVEN if we like to get to know others, there’s something exciting about talking about ourselves and something even more exciting when the listener is eager to hear about it.
I’m passionate about business and everything I discuss on this podcast and get super excited when people tell me they are enjoying listening. I could discuss this stuff all day and if I get an engaged audience, it feels good!
So now that we’ve established that, let’s turn that around. Being that excited listener. You know what it feels like to be heard and have an audience that is engaging and excited about your topic, so why not be that audience to other people?
In a past podcast, I talked about personality traits and said one of mine was that I thoroughly enjoy debating for fun. Well, if it isn’t already obvious, that trait doesn’t exactly win friends and influence people the way I would like it to. Since reading this book, I’ve taken a good look at the times when I would prefer to say something I think is smarter, and simply let the other person win. To be a pushover? No. Mainly because in the long run, it’s more beneficial to be friendly than be constantly right about the little things.
Can you think of times in your life when you could improve to become an excited listener?
This could mean putting down your phone when talking with someone. It could mean listening to a story you’ve already heard before. It could also mean pointing out the good qualities of a person instead of the bad.
I’ve been putting that last point to work and have had tremendous success. In Carnegie’s fabulous wording, he repeats over and over, “be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” In today’s words, that means, easily show approval and pile on the praise. If you think that just sounds like you’re trying to get something from the other person, give it a try and see that you’ll probably have a much livelier conversation and it’s not a trick, but just a great way to operate.
Because what’s your alternative? Be critical of people and stingy in telling them what they do well. Unfortunately, this seems to be more acceptable by today’s standards and isn’t that wild!
So, if you haven’t read the book, I would urge you to, but even if you don’t, give these tactics a try this week and let me know how it goes!
Have the best day ever!!!
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