On occassion I have referred back to portions of the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne as a reminder of how positive thinking can help an individual enjoy a more rewarding life, but until recently I have never read the same book twice.
Years ago when I managed a Radio Shack down in Jonesboro Georgia I read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It is a terrific book that I think should be required reading for all individuals before they enter the workforce.
Since I am now part of the service sector again as one of the hosts of the Windward Passage restaurant, I thought it might be worth another read.
The first part of the book addresses how you can better handle people. Carnegie mentions three principles to follow. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain about people, but try to understand them. Give honest and sincere appreciation to others and try to see things from their point of view.
The second part of the book deals with six ways to make people like you. Become genuinely interested in other people. Smile. Remember a person’s name when you are talking to them. Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves. Talk about the other person’s interests and make the other person feel important.
The next part deals with how to win people to your way of thinking. Try to avoid arguments. Show respect for the other person’s opinion and never tell them they are wrong even if they are. If your wrong admit it quickly and emphatically. Approach disagreements with others in a friendly manner. Get the other person to answer “yes, yes” to a couple of questions to get their attention. Let the other person do most of the talking. Let the other person feel that your idea is his or her idea.
The last part gives some tips on how to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing another person. Ask questions as opposed to giving direct orders. Let the other person save face. Praise even the slightest improvement. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you have suggested.
Of course some of Mr. Carnegie’s ideas are sometimes tough to implement and there is some thought involved, but that’s the fun part of it. Give this book a read if you haven’t already, it will help you achieve success not only in your business life, but also in your personal life.