Dale Carnegie was perhaps most famous for the courses he developed in salesmanship though he also offered courses in self-improvement, interpersonal skills and public speaking. I remember one of my colleagues taking a Dale Carnegie sales course and I think they are probably still running today.
Years ago, I saw a copy of Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book How to Win Friends and Influence People being offered at a bargain price in the local bookstore. Given the significance of this book to my chosen field (personal development), I thought I could not pass on the offer.
In the book, he talks about how he came to discover the essential secret that pervades his work and I’ll tell you what it is in a moment. However, the situation was that he was attending an important meeting as a salesman and, overwhelmed at the prospect of addressing the large group, found himself unable to speak.
He wrote a short message on a piece of paper. It said, “gentlemen, I have lost my voice, I am speechless.” The president of the organisation stood up and announced that he would do the talking on his behalf. Carnegie says that he then presented his products and praised their good points. All he (Carnegie) did was sit there, smile, nod and make a few encouraging gestures.
Amazingly, he got the business. But the experience made him understand the importance of letting the other person do the talking. And – yes – that’s the secret, and, taken from his famous book, here are six ways you can apply it:
6 Ways to Make People Like You
1: Become genuinely interested in other people
3: Remember and use the other person’s name
4: Encourage others to talk about themselves
5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
6: Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely
As you can see, the thing that underpins all of these points is to move the focus away from yourself and onto the other person. Of course, you don’t remain silent, but when you do talk, you talk in terms of the other person and their interests.
You don’t have to do this in every conversation of course. Remember the title of his book was How to Win Friends and Influence People. But remember these powerful little tips for when you want to do that.