Become friendlier and succeed bigger is a concept that most people miss completely. And yet it’s a critical factor if we want to succeed at a higher level. Dale Carnegie, in the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” said that there are all kinds of courses in ordinary schooling. However, he was not aware of any courses on how to get along with people and how to express a friendlier personality. Thus, he created such a course and, to this day, it is taught worldwide with amazing results. I personally took The Dale Carnegie Course years ago and benefited greatly from the simple, but life-changing concepts that I learned there. The Carnegie book describes 9 points that could help any of us become friendlier:
Our ability to create great relationships is at the heart of success. Carnegie said that if we want to put the nails in the coffin of any relationship, we should criticize, condemn, or complain. And, he further stated, most fools do just that. He tells about notorious criminals like Al Capone and “Two Gun Crowley” and the fact that they didn’t criticize themselves. In fact, Al Capone, the gangster, felt that he gave people “the lighter side of life.” He believed he was a public benefactor. He didn’t blame himself for anything. Thus, what about the people you and I deal with every day? They usually don’t blame themselves for anything and often defend their actions.
If you feel strongly about criticizing someone, or complaining about something, Carnegie suggested that you do what Abraham Lincoln did when he was upset with a general during the Civil War. Lincoln wanted the general to attack a Confederate force at an opportune moment. The move could have shortened the length of the war. The general did not attack. Lincoln was furious. He wrote a detailed critical letter to the general expressing his dismay. What did the general do when he got it? Nothing. Lincoln never sent it. It was found in his records years later. Thus, if you feel like criticizing, condemning, or complaining, write a detailed letter to the person and put it in a drawer for a few days. Chances are you’ll never send it and you’ll save yourself a setback toward bigger success.
Become friendlier and succeed bigger means giving honest and sincere appreciation. Carnegie said that people perform at a much higher level when their efforts are being appreciated. Carnegie related that John Dewey, one of America’s most profound philosophers, said that the deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important. He said that “This desire makes you want to wear the latest styles, drive the latest cars, and talk about your brilliant children.”
Carnegie further stated, “It is this desire that lures many boys and girls into joining gangs and engaging in criminal activities. The average young criminal, according to E.P. Mulrooney, onetime police commissioner of New York, is filled with ego, and his first request after arrest is for those lurid newspapers that make him out a hero. The disagreeable prospect of serving time seems remote so long as he can gloat over his likeness sharing space with pictures of sports figures, movie and TV stars, and politicians. Thus, when you give honest and sincere appreciation, that makes people feel important and escalates your success.
Become friendlier and succeed bigger by being aware that the only way to get people to do what we want is by focusing on what other people want. Carnegie said, “Why talk about want we want? That is childish. Absurd. Of course, you are interested in what you want. You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want. So, the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.”
Carnegie also said, “Remember that tomorrow when you are trying to get somebody to do something. If, for example, you don’t want your children to smoke, don’t preach at them, and don’t talk about what you want; but show them that cigarettes may keep them from making the basketball team or winning the hundred-yard dash.” Thus, if you want to become friendlier, and gain greater success, look for the reasons of why the other person might want to do that which you desire.
Become friendlier and succeed bigger by becoming genuinely interested in other people. Carnegie said that the people who cause the most harm are those who aren’t interested in anyone but themselves. A study by the New York Telephone Company showed that the word most frequently used in phone conversations was the word “I”. It was used 3,900 times in 500 telephone conversations. Carnegie stated, “When you see a group photograph that you are in, whose picture do you look for first? If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends. Friends, real friends, are not made that way.”
Carnegie declared, “If we want to make friends, let’s greet people with animation and enthusiasm. When somebody calls you on the telephone, use the same psychology. Say “Hello” in tones that bespeak how pleased you are to have the person call. Showing a genuine interest in others not only wins friends for you, but may develop in its customers a loyalty to your company.” My mother was genuinely interested in other people and that was reflected in the success of her business. She said that everybody’s got a story and she felt she could learn something valuable from everyone she met. It’s no wonder people liked her so much!
Become friendlier and succeed bigger by smiling more. It takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown. And yet, it appears that many people make the extra effort to frown. It’s no wonder people don’t consider them friendly. Carnegie talks about Charles Schwab, the man that Andrew Carnegie made the president of U.S. Steel many years ago: “Charles Schwab told me his smile had been worth a million dollars. And he was probably understating the truth. For Schwab’s personality, his charm, his ability to make people like him, were almost wholly responsible for his extraordinary success; and one of the most delightful factors in his personality was his captivating smile.”
Dale Carnegie further related, “Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ‘I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.’ That is why dogs make such a hit. They are so glad to see us that they almost jump out of their skins. So, naturally, we are glad to see them.” If you’re not used to smiling a lot, just experiment for one week. Make a concerted effort to smile at 5 strangers every day. Watch how much friendlier other people will be to you because you’re going to be friendlier to them.
Become friendlier and succeed bigger by remembering people’s names and calling them by name. Carnegie said that the most important thing in life, to all of us, is our name. Otherwise, why would someone give a fortune to have their name put on a building that will last much longer than their life? Carnegie stated, “This policy of remembering and honoring the names of his friends and business associates was one of the secrets of Andrew Carnegie’s leadership. He was proud of the fact that he could call many of his factory workers by their names, and he boasted that while he was personally in charge, no strike ever disturbed his flaming steel mills.”
When texting, other than to a family member or close friend, may I suggest you always use the other person’s first name and sign with your name? The same goes for e-mails. When meeting people, repeat their name several times. The repetition will solidify their name in your mind and it will make them feel important. Mention the other person’s name several times in phone conversations and watch what a better reception you get to whatever ideas you’re sharing.
Become friendlier and succeed bigger by being a very good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves. God gave us two ears and one mouth. Maybe we should look at these proportions. However, these days, with all of our electronics, who’s paying attention to anyone? Thus, the person who is an active listener, really paying attention, is considered to be friendlier and given more respect. Carnegie stated, “What is the secret, the mystery, of a successful business interview? Well, according to former Harvard president Charles W. Eliot, ‘There is no mystery about successful business intercourse… Exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you is very important. Nothing else is so flattering as that.”
My mother, who I mentioned became very successful in business, literally had air brakes on her words. She listened very intently. Thus, if she felt the other person wanted to say something, she would stop talking and say, “What were you just thinking?” With her gentle and caring tone of voice, everyone opened up to her. And, if they had a different point of view, she gently said: “Tell me more.” She was interested in other people’s viewpoints and said: “I can learn from everyone I meet.” She also realized that the person controlling a conversation is not the one who’s talking. It’s the one who’s asking the questions.
Become friendlier and succeed bigger by talking in terms of the other person’s interests. Of course, you and I are much more interested in our own interests. So are the other people. Thus, if we want to escalate our success, let’s put ourselves in their shoes and talk about their interests.
Carnegie related, “Everyone who was ever a guest of Theodore Roosevelt was astonished at the range and diversity of his knowledge. Whether his visitor was a cowboy or a Rough Rider, a New York politician or a diplomat, Roosevelt knew what to say. And how was it done? The answer was simple. Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested. For Roosevelt knew, as all leaders know, that the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most.”
As a professional speaker, I’m very aware that my presentations go much better when I get a lot of audience members to talk. I ask a lot of questions and poll my audience regularly. I tell people that I’m not really a speaker. I’m a facilitator. I’ve come to get them to talk. I guide the process with my questions and then I get them to participate. Thus, I find that this process gets me much further than if I had simply come to lecture. I also find that I succeed bigger when I make other people around me shine. By talking in terms of their interests, I come across as being much friendlier.
Become friendlier and succeed bigger by making other people feel important. Carnegie said that we don’t ‘want’ to feel important. He said that we all ‘need’ to feel important. He also stated that “people will do more for a feeling of importance that they will for money!” I’m thinking that if I throw enough money at a situation, surely it will fix it. Not if I mistreat you. You’ll eventually have had it with me. Carnegie further related, “The unvarnished truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance, and recognize it sincerely. Remember what Emerson said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way.”
If you don’t do this regularly, and realize how much of a shortcut this could be to your greater success, may I suggest that you make a sign that sits on our desk where you can see it every day: EVERYONE IS IMPORTANT! Look at it every day and soon you will be making other people feel important. Do it sincerely and watch what others will do to help you achieve great things.
“I follow Dale Carnegie’s ideas to become friendlier and thus I succeed bigger!”
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Copyright 2017 by Boaz Rauchwerger