Monday 27 October 2014

my sunday dreams to dry...

Every Monday morning, I get an email from a couple of guys I used to work with  - a husband and wife team - who now run a training consultancy together.  It's a circular email that they send out to everyone in their contacts book, and that sort of stuff isn't really my bag, but they were always really nice and it's still better than most of the email I get at work, so....  It's generally quite chatty and informal, with a bit of news about what the family have been up to, followed by a link out to an article one or other of them has written about something or other.  This week was a cracker and related to Dale Carnegie's 1936 classic book, "How To Win Friends and Influence People".

As the article told me from my inbox this morning:

"What makes this book so special to me is that it was written in a different era. We believe that we are stressed out, that the world is moving faster and faster. Maybe that is true. Yet the advice that Carnegie gave before the Second World War is still pertinent today".

Okay.  It's Monday morning and I'm on my first cup of coffee and in no particular hurry to start my day.  I'm a little bit interested.... so blow me away with these insights.  Let's do this.

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
1)Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
2)Give Honest and sincere appreciation.
3)Arouse in the other person an eager want.

6 Ways to Make People like You.
1)Become genuinely interested in other people.
2)Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
3)Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
4)Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
5)Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Win People to Your Way of Thinking
1)The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
2)Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “You’re wrong.”
3)If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
4)Begin in a friendly way.
5)Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
6)Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
7)Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
8)Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
9)Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
10)Appeal to the nobler motives.
11)Dramatize your ideas.
12)Throw down a challenge.

Be a Leader
1)Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
2)Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
3)Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
4)Ask questions instead of giving direst orders.
5)Let the other person save face.
6)Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.
7)Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
8)Use encouragement. Make the fault easy to correct.
9)Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Um.... so, on the one hand, that's really good advice.  But on the other hand, how the hell else do you treat people?  Do you really need to be told that it's good to be genuinely interested in what other people have to say and to show respect for their thoughts and opinions?

Still, it's better than moving the bloody cheese or whatever other bullshit language people use for these sorts of books now.  I had someone quote Stephen Covey at me the other day, presumably because he lacked the wit to put the theory into his own words and thought I wouldn't notice.  Important but not urgent?  Spare me.  And as for that whole elephant, lion, dolphin or monkey thing that seems to be prevalent in the management at my company.... well,  eugenics simply has no place in the modern workplace, does it?  You know that's what that is, right?

Hmmm.  Maybe I'm just grumpy on Monday mornings.  Perhaps I should save reading things like this until I'm on my second coffee.

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