“Raise your words, not your voice. It is the rain that grows the flower, not the thunder”
How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Imagine you’re taking your favorite college course. Then all of a sudden the teacher announces a group assignment that wasn’t on the syllabus. I was one of those guys who hated these assignments. I’d do pretty well in the class in general. But when it came to group assignments, I cringed. Yet, like most situations in life, the problem isn’t the situation. It the attitude towards it. My attitude was one that made my heart sink as soon as the teacher brought up a group assignment, even the small ones.
The problem wasn’t coming up with ideas. I had trouble with connecting those ideas to the others. They wouldn’t listen. After reading this book, I understood better that it was how I communicated my ideas and not the ideas themselves. I understood how to win peopel to my ideas. So this part of the book is about projecting your ideas across to people and influencing them to agree with even the wildest ideas. This helps in business meetings, college classes, or just a normal social event. This is one of the most important skills to have. As an entrepreneur, business owner, or to accomplish any dream, you must be able to recruit people to help. In order to do that, Dale Carnegie, wrote a book to assist in influencing and persuading people. So here’s some tools he explained.
Win People To Your Way Of Thinking
1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
Simple, right? Let’s say you are already in the argument. I always found myself remembering this point after I was already in one. I found out that when this happens, you must find things to agree on about the argument. This act takes a lot of pride swallowing, but it’s worth it. (Fellas, if it’s with a woman, GET OUT ASAP. Trust me, you will feel worse afterward, even if you’re ‘right.’)
2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions
Win people over by never saying, “You’re wrong!” The book explains an excellent way to put this. It helps to say, “I may be wrong. I frequently am. Let’s examine the facts.” So, I use this often.
3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
There is nothing wrong with being wrong. It shows growth, maturity, and honor. You grow your student mentality and humility. The longer you back up or defend your incorrect statement, the worse the argument gets and the dumber you look. And people will turn from your idea quicker than I do when I realize I left my phone at home driving to work.
4. Begin in a friendly way
Gentleness and friendliness are always stronger than fury and force. Dale Carnegie illustrates this in an amazing story of the Sun vs the Wind.
The wind argued to the sun that the wind was stronger than the sun. The wind said, “I’ll prove I’m stronger. See the old man with the coat? I bet I can get his coat off quicker than you.” So the wind began to blow and blew harder and harder until there was almost a tornado. But the harder he blew, the tighter the old man held his coat on him. Finally, the wind gave up and it was the sun’s turn. The sun came from behind the old man and smiled kindly on him. The old man mopped his brow and pulled off his coat quickly.
Lesson: Gentleness and friendliness are always stronger than fury and force.
5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately
It emphasizes commonalities you agree on. And it runs from the difference you don’t agree on. Win people over by getting them on the “yes train” to help future suggestions you give. This is an awesome sales technique I used in my sales days. I asked a series of easy to respond “yes” questions to the customer. “Don’t you think it is a great product?” The customer answered with “yes” of course, and I’d continue. “Wouldn’t your spouse think so as well?” “Yes.” “Isn’t it better than your current model?” “Yes.” “Didn’t you tell me your current model was old/ or didn’t work?” “I did. Yes.” Then I proceeded to wrap up the sale with the customer more likely to agree with the sale because he agreed to everything else. Get the other person to constantly say “Yes.”
6. Let the other person do a great deal of talking
This is extremely important in influencing people, which is explained more in the next point. You want the other person to think on their own. You are influencing their decision, not convincing. Lead the path for them to follow, don’t push them. (Although some people need a little extra push) You do this by getting them to talk about any and everything. The more a person talks, the more comfortable they feel around you. And the more they are accepting of your idea. People buy from whom they are comfortable. Therefore they buy ideas and products from friends, not salespeople.
7. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers
When you get the other person talking, they think the idea came from them. To do this, you must ask relevant questions. Off topic questions must still move the conversation forward. Have a series of relevant questions to ask and practice them. One thing I lacked as a salesman was that the conversation always dried out. When that happened, the person didn’t buy. Off topic relevant questions are those that aren’t about business yet pertain to it.
An example is when I sold DirecTV. I asked questions like, “What does your spouse like to watch? What’s their favorite show? What your favorite show? What did you think of the last episode?” These questions were relevant to the product yet lowered their guard by talking about things they liked. I gathered information what they are looking for and they were enjoying it. As a result, we become friends and they felt the idea was theirs by seeing the value the product brought to their life by the answers they gave.
8. Try honestly to see things from he other person’s point of view
Like the old saying, “Put yourself in another person’s shoes.” One trait someone told me I lacked was compassion. So I practiced compassion by imaging myself in that person’s situation. It took a lot of practice. But eventually, it helped me see the other person’s side. So, I gained understanding in how my views were perceived.
9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas or desires
There was a ruler who went against the views of his subjects. Yet, he was loved by all. How so? He said these two words whenever he gave his speech: “I understand.” People want to be understood. You don’t have to agree with others. But you must be understanding in order to influence them.
10. Appeal to the nobler motives
It all comes down to earning trust by being trustworthy. Someone who trusts you will hear you out. So, build that trust with questions that show you’re genuinely interested. And, therefore, use questions around the acronym FORDS which stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams, and Sports.
11. Dramatize your ideas
To win people over you must get them to feel your ideas. Therefore, dramatize them with enthusiasm and show them the vision. Don’t be afraid to get creative and a little crazy. Give personality and exaggeration with emphasis. As a result, your idea will connect much easier.
12. Throw down a challenge
Competition breeds excellence. Challenges motivate people. During my college group assignments, I could’ve used this. Holding a competition is useful. “Whoever has the best idea for presenting the project by Monday is the idea that we go with.” Dramatizing the idea with art and visuals so they see the vision is a great way to make sure you win and the group goes with the idea.
Today’s Question: What is an example that where you can influence people to agree with your ideas through dramatization or by any of the other 11 points. (Leave your answer to comments below to help others)
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