I went from shy, socially anxious to a self-assured prosocial person after reading one of Dale Carnegie’s books.
The book’s name was “How To Win Friends and Influence People.” Over 30 million copies have been sold worldwide, and even recommended by Warren Buffet. Carnegie’s book is full of timeless wisdom and insights that you can use to bring out the best in your relationships.
In the first section of the book, Carnegie shared the fundamental techniques in handling people. He also narrates stories of people who achieved extraordinary progress in their businesses, politics, and career. Because they applied these methods to bring out the best in their relationships.
I will tell you the main techniques, so you don’t have to spend hours studying his book. Or tens of other relationship books.
Technique 1: Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
Do you like to be embarrassed or ridiculed publicly for anything no matter how wrong it was?
It is the same for other people. We are all creatures of emotion, abound with dignity and self-esteem. If you don’t like to be criticized in the open, why do you want to do the same thing to others? Whether in a group or with someone else.
Besides, criticisms are like boomerangs. They always return. It’s the wrong way to be prosocial
So, resist the urge to strongly criticize or rebuke your friends, colleagues, or people above you. It will always end in futility.
Speak ill of no man but speak all the good you know of everybody – Benjamin Franklin
Understand people first to be prosocial
Instead of condemning people, try to understand them.
Try to figure out why they do what they do. Listen to others and find out their positive attributes before you assume the worst of them. This is a lot more profitable and intriguing than complaining and criticism.
This will also breed patience, and kindness in your relationship with them.
TECHNIQUE 2: Give sincere and honest appreciation
There is a big secret of dealing with people.
Do you know that the only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want? This is the secret. Companies use this secret to offer rewards to motivate their employees to achieve specific goals, enhancing their overall productivity and performance at work. Businesses also use this secret negatively, by using bribery to influence decision-makers and secure deals.
There is a quote by William James that resonates quite well with this technique.
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. This is a gnawing and unfaltering human hunger, and the rare individual who honestly satisfies this heart hunger will hold people in the palm of his hand.
To bring out the best of your relationships, always remember that you are dealing with human beings who hunger for appreciation.
Be careful of flattery when being prosocial
In a bid to appreciate others, please be careful of using flattery in your words and actions.
Flattery is shallow, selfish, and insincere. It’s like those wealthy and well-connected friends who keep calling you “Chief, Boss, Chairman” at every instance but disappear when you ask for their advice. Don’t act like them please.
In the long run, flattery will do you more harm than good if you want to be prosocial.
Instead, give lots of praise and heartfelt approval in your dealings with people, and they might remember what you said for the rest of their lives. And they can even bring it up years after you’ve forgotten it.
TECHNIQUE 3: Inspire the other person to feel a strong desire.
A way to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
To do this, you must first inspire the other person to feel a strong desire. For instance, successful salespeople do this by showing us how their services and products solves our problems. After all, customers like to feel that they are buying – not being sold.
Dale Carnegie affirms this by saying that if you can learn this technique, you will have the whole world with you.
“People who can put themselves in the place of other people, who can understand the workings of their minds, need never worry about what the future has in store for them.” – Owen D.Young.
Put yourself in their shoes.
If there is any one secret of success, it will be Empathy.
It lies in your ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own. The next time you want to persuade someone to do something – pause and ask yourself: How can I make this person want to do it?
Constantly asking and answering this question will bring out the best of your relationships.
The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage. He has little competition.
JUST A RECAP
Here is the checklist to navigating the journey of life with stronger relationships and building more meaningful connections:
- Technique 1: Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
- Understand people first.
- Technique 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Be careful of Flattery.
- Technique 3: Inspire the other person to feel a strong desire.
- Put yourself in their shoes.
That’s it. You just learned everything you need in maximizing your relationships. You are welcome.