When it comes to books about networking, building relationships and working with people, the undisputed classic is “How To Win Friends and Influence People.” Dale Carnegie wrote the book in 1936 and it has been read by millions of people since. One of the great realizations in the book is that although some people are more extroverted or affable, working with people is a learned skill that anyone can master.
In the second section of the book, Carnegie offers what he calls “Six Ways To Make People Like You.” These are simple suggestions that can make a huge difference in the way you work with people.
#1 – Be Genuinely Interested In Other People.
Studies show that the most frequently said word is “I.” People love to talk about themselves, their lives, their hobbies, their families, their passions, etc. When you interact with people, ask questions and allow them to talk, they will love you for it.
#2 – Smile
A smile is a simple gesture that doesn’t cost money, time, or energy but it can brighten someone’s day; it changes the way you feel and makes you more approachable. Smiling is attractive and contagious. People around you can’t help but smile when they see a big smile on your face.
#3 – Remembering and Using People’s Name
They say that the sweetest and most important sound in language is the sound of your own name. In Jack Welch’s book “Winning,” when asked which restaurant was his favorite, he replied: “The one where they know my name.”
We’ve all been there: when you recognize someone but can’t remember their name. It’s awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassing. We often use the excuse that “I am not good with names,” but if you want to master people, you need to begin to remember names. Develop a system. When you meet someone use their name three times in conversation or write their name down in a notebook with some details about them. Figure out a system that works for you.
#4 Be A Good Listener
As the sage saying goes, we were given one mouth and two ears for a reason. We need to encourage others to talk and then we need to listen to understand what they are saying. Listening is much more than being silent. It is an active process. It involves empathy — the ability to walk in someone’s shoes and understand them without judging or fixing.
Listening is a skill that is developed with practice. As you master it, people will like you more and more.
#5 Talk To People In Terms of Their Interests
People love it when you can relate to their interests. Being knowledgeable on subjects they enjoy and capable of engaging in intelligent conversation about what matters most to them says volumes about your interest in who they are.
That doesn’t mean that you have to be an expert in every category, but being able to talk to people in terms of their interests goes a long way. One way to do this is to study topics of interest before meeting with people. If you know that your business lunch is with a huge baseball fan, then take some time to brush up on your knowledge of the game. This small point may make the biggest difference in how the lunch turns out.
Talking in terms of other people’s interests is another way to put them first and leave a great impression. If you have paid attention to the first five ways to make people like you, you are probably noticing a trend. Each of the points is focused on the other person.
#6 Make People Feel Important
Making people feel important can be done in a myriad of ways. You can give a compliment, remember their birthday or a special occasion, recognize them for their skills and contribution, or give them a gift. The key is to make sure you do it sincerely. Your motives must be pure. This is not about giving to get, it is about giving because you care.
People read through individuals who are fake and only in it for themselves. If you are going to compliment someone, make it sincere. Look at the good in people and point that out.
As a boy scout I was taught to leave a campsite better than I found it. I think the same principle applies to people.
Leave every person better for having met you.