Carnegie Part 2

We all know that if people like us then we’ll have an easier time getting what we want. But how do some people do that so well? How do some people seem to be liked by everyone? When you look at those people, you should see how deeply invested they are about their people. They are “best friends” with those people because they’ve taken the time to show interest in them. That is the key! I am a true believer in that. Showing people that you can put them before yourself will, in my opinion, show them that you’re a genuine person. Why do you think small businesses that have been around forever are still around? It’s because they’ve taken a big interest in their customers and that has created a loyal customer base.

“A smile is worth a thousand words.” How much clearer can that statement be? A smile is one of the only facial expressions that can completely change someone’s day. A smile makes people happy and warm. When people feel happy a warm, their day tends to reflect. I always make it a point to smile at people that I pass throughout my day. I just know that I can make someone feel better by giving them a true and honest smile. I know I feel a little better when people smile at me. Even if I have never seen them before a day in my life.

Being a good talker will only get you but so far in life. It’s when you develop the skills of being a good listener is when you’ll start going places. People like talking about themselves and they love it when people actually listen. If you are a good listener, then you’re on the right path. The examples given in the book involving unhappy customers and how the managers or executives just listened and responded accordingly, really speak volumes. People love knowing that their problems matter and that there is someone who is there to listen and help them solve whatever issues they have. This is a great tool to use when you want to get somone’s attention to develop a relationship down the road.

The moral of this second part of the book is if you put others first, you are more likely to get what you want. I’m not saying this in a malicious way, but rather in the Golden Rule way. We all learn about it in kindergarten and it has been true since the beginning of time. You will be liked, respected, and have a competitive advantage over the rest. Just be a good person and respect that people want to see you put them before you and your needs.


Effective Leadership-Parts 1 and 2

What makes a good leader? This is the question we always get asked and one that seems to have a million different answers. What I’ve been getting from the readings I’ve been doing, is that a leader is defined based a lot on the culture you’re in and on some basic traits. Those traits are; good communication, ability to criticize without losing employee motivation, compassion, hardworking, and the ability to develop good relationships with executives and subordinates. You also can’t ignore the fact that in some cultures, having subordinates question or relay ideas on their superiors is highly frowned upon. So their views of what a leader is may be a little different.

Looking at the more “technical” aspect of what makes a good leader, there have been different tests and studies that have shown what, on average, makes a good leader. For example, people who are classified as an extrovert tend to be received better as leaders. I think that this is because extroverts have an easier time communicating and feel more comfortable around people. I feel that all these studies do a good job in helping define what makes up a good leader. Comparing personal and peer evaluations, personality tests, and strategy all play a role.

Overcoming Bias- Chapters 1-3

Here’s the deal, we all have bias and anyone telling you they don’t, is totally lying. I’ll even be the first to admit my two biggest biases that set me off. Gun control and people who think horseback riding isn’t a sport. Those topics really push my buttons. I grew up around guns all my life. My dad taught me proper gun safety, took me shooting, made me comfortable around guns, and showed me how a firearm is a tool just like a hammer or a wrench.  So when people try to make the argument that “guns kill people”, I just want to break out in this big long argument. Same goes for horseback riding. Most people think that it’s easy because that’s how it looks. Honestly, that’s a complement because it’s suppose to look effortless. It’s when people continually put down my sport even after I’ve explained things to them. Then my general response is, “Well how about we just put you on a horse and then you can see just how easy it is.” Over the years I have worked hard on not letting my triggers and biases get the better of me (and going to school where most of the population is liberal has proven difficult).  The biggest help for me has been taking a second before I respond to calm down and to think if this argument, comment, or action is actually worth responding too.

We are all part of in-groups. We always drawn more to people who think like us, look like us, act like us, have the same social status, etc. In-groups are a generating pool for tons of biases. I agree when the book says that the way to reduce this, is to go out and interact with your out-groups. You can’t expect to change if you stay in the same place interacting with the same people.

The different activities throughout the chapters really got me to think personally about my biases. They made me more aware and got me thinking about ways I can start changing to help overcome these biases.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie- First Section

Your words and actions will always have a huge affect on people. How you say or do something will determine how desirable the outcome. People respond better to criticism when it is done in a way that facilitates growth. Meaning you are not just saying how bad something was, you give them ways to grow and develop into something better. If all you do is just put people down by saying how bad of a job they are doing, their respect for you will diminish and will not abide by your demands or wishes.  I know that whenever I have to criticize or correct someone, I always try to think of that person as if they were me and how I would want to be spoken too.  I would want someone to tell me what I am doing wrong, and how I can do better next time. Yelling at someone over and over again will 9 times out of 10 give you undesirable responses.

Do you like feeling appreciated? Do you feel that you are motivated to do better work when you are shown appreciation? I know I am.  In the workplace, appreciation can sometimes be overlooked. I mean it is your job to do excellent work. Now, you are more likely to receive something if you completed a big project or closed a big client. But how about when things didn’t go your way and it wasn’t your fault? Do you still deserve appreciation? There was a part that stated that a deal didn’t go through as hoped and a lot of money was lost. Instead of the boss scolding him, he congratulated him on saving 60 percent of the invested money.  The moral of the story is that appreciation will help increase motivation to do great work and it will increase the amount of respect your peers, employees, subordinates. etc. give you.

Do you know what I want? Of course you don’t. I mean why would you? You don’t care about what I want, you care about what you want and what is going to help you out.  We talk a lot about being nice to people to get them to do what we want or we pull rank on them to get them to do the same. That won’t always work, especially when we are trying to make a business deal. I really liked the Henry Ford quote, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” This makes so much sense! If you really think about it the best salespeople sell you things based on what is going to service your wants and what is going to help you solve your problems. They don’t make the sale about themselves, they make it all about you. This generates excitement making you more susceptible to the business deal or purchase. So before you go try to make a business deal, think about how can you benefit them and what disadvantages they would incur from not having you onboard.