February 14


influence people, win friends

You may recognize the title of this article. It is that of a book written by the late Dale Carnegie. The advice in the book remains timeless.

In no way is this meant to steal from the original book. I’m writing this as a kind of review of the book and as a reminder that this book can truly serve as a life guide on how to be influential. The book spells out some common-sense techniques.  Yet, many people fail to implement them, even after they have read the book. This is why Dale Carnegie himself, suggested using the book as a reference after the first read. It’s important to reinforce the techniques described from time-to-time.

If you haven’t read the book (and you should), Carnegie describes techniques that make people want to be with you. One is the simple technique of using somebody’s name. This requires that you remember the name when a person is first introduced to you. And, once you know the name, be sure to use it whenever you come in contact with that person. People value their names more than you could possibly imagine.

Here is a helpful exercise on how to remember someone’s name when they are introduced to you.  First, repeat the name silently.  The repetition helps you to remember the name.  Next, use the name immediately.  You could say: “it is nice to meet you (and insert their name).”   Next, associate their name with something.  For example, you could associate their name with their profession (i.e. Mark the C.P.A.).  Try this the next time you are introduced to someone and see how easy it is for you to start remembering names.

The next time someone says your name when speaking to you, pay attention to how that makes you feel. It is likely to make you feel a connection with that person on a level that you probably took for granted in the past.

Another technique that Carnegie describes is to pay attention to other peoples’ likes and wants. If you know somebody that is into elephants, for example, when you come across items related to elephants, make that person aware of it. Carnegie goes into much greater depth about this, but you get the general idea. Take a genuine interest in others and you will find them drawing towards you more and more.

As I mentioned before, the techniques described in the book really are common-sense, but they work. There are several other techniques that are described which can really give you those influencing abilities you want to acquire as a leader. What’s great about his techniques is they are not difficult to incorporate into your life and yet they have a tremendous impact in how you are looked upon by others. It is almost magical at how well it works.

It should be noted that Carnegie wrote the book to help salespeople sell better. The book was actually a byproduct of a course he developed with the same motivation. However, a broader application can be made for anyone in any profession.  The ability to influence people not only enhances your career but it also enhances every aspect of your life.  You do not need to be a salesperson to take advantage of the techniques contained in this book.

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