I think this book really uncovered the things that have been done to me, and the things I have done unconsciously that worked. I am usually the listener when it comes to conversation, and that has people really open up to me. One day I want to be in local office, so these principles will really help me in the future.
Part One – Fundamental techniques in Handling People
When I was reading this book I was thinking of how I deal with my residents. I think being an RA to freshmen is different than being an RA for upperclassmen. When I deal with freshmen I approach the situation differently. The first principle was “don’t criticize, condemn, or complain”. In chapter one, it talks about how we should not automatically criticize people when we see them in a bad state. What really impacted me was the Confucius quote that said: “don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your doorstep is uncleaned”. I think that quote made me so self-aware of my place in general. I really have to practice what I preach. I remember freshmen year that I did things that were not smart (usually not law breaking like some of my fun residents), but I have grown so much since then. I have to understand that I need to be open when dealing with residents. I do not want them to feel like I am a mom. The story of the top hats feels like something people in charge of people have to deal with. Instead of nagging my residents on rules I need to change the way I say the conversation. I would want the same done to me. The chapter talks about “trying to figure out why they do what they do”.
The second principle talks about giving honest and sincere appreciation for people. Sigmund Freud talked about one of the two things all people want is the desire to be great. I think I have always thought I was going to use my strengths to make my contribution to this world. I do have a desire to do my best. I think I really want to emulate more of what Charles Schwab did. He said, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people, the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement”. I have seen this in action. I remember when I first was doing my job I was working hard, and with my thinking, I need to make sure I am doing my best to contribute to my staff. I like giving appreciation because I know how I feel when I get it. I also liked the quote “If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise”. I think that I have made my best interactions and friendships with people by using sincere appreciation. That is rich. Another quote that stuck with me was every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.” I always had the problem of being intimidated when someone was way better at me at something. If I kept that mentality I would always have low self-esteem. I realize that every person I meet will be better at me at something. I need to take that mindset into a positive one. I can learn from each person and become a better person because of it.
The last principle is to arouse in the other person an eager want. It says that “he who can do this has the whole world with him”. If you can convince someone that what you want is what they want they will do it. It combines self-interest with group collaboration. Henry Ford said, “if there is 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 view”. We have to be aware of not only ourselves. We make connections when we have sympathy, and those connections become powerful.
Part Two – 6 ways to Make People Like You
The first principle is to become genuinely interested in people. I think at the beginning of high school I started to have my own revelations. It was when I was in class, and I was lost in my thoughts. The thoughts I had were all over the place, and probably thoughts that I think people would never know about me. I found it fascinating because every single person in my class was probably the same. Even the closest person you have will not know everything about you. I really then started to genuinely become interested in people. Howard Thurston said he had two things; he had the ability to put his personality through his footlights and had a genuine interest in people. He was able to become successful because of it. When people feel like someone is interested in them they will end up being interested in the person asking. The second principle is to smile. There is the Chinese saying “do not open up a shop without a smile”. For the most part, small businesses are advertised through referrals and word-of-mouth. You remember how you feel when you experienced something and may not remember what was exactly said. I remember when someone was mad or happy. If you want someone to associate your shop with positive thoughts you should smile. The third principle is to remember that a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language. It is important to remember names and make people feel important. I liked the quote “to recall a voter’s name is statesmanship. To forget is an oblivion”. This was interesting because this was a politician. I want to campaign for myself one day and starting with this now will help me gain trust for future voters. The fourth principle is to be a good listener. It is important to encourage others to talk about themselves. I do this a lot as an RA. People feel most comfortable talking about themselves because that is what they know best. My residents then feel comfortable telling me things in case something happens. I do really believe this principle works. Especially at UMW, we are all about making those personal connections, and that means taking time to get to know one another. That means listening to other people’s lives to feel like they are accepted in the community. The fifth principle is to talk in terms of other person’s interests. I know we are all in different groups, and I have noticed I do change how I interact with each group. I do not think I do it on purpose to be different, but I feel that speaking in what people are comfortable with makes the interactions the best it can be. The fifth principle says to talk in terms of the other personal interests. I also agree with talking to people that make them feel like equals. The last principle is to “make the other person feel important”. They said they can do this by “talking to people about themselves and they will listen for hours”. I have seen this happen on many occasions. I think it is when people are willing to put in the work to listen for all those hours. I think that it is needed time to connect, so I have that mindset for the most part of the conversation.
Part Three – How to win People to your way of thinking
The first principle is the best way to get the best of an argument to avoid it. Buddha said “hatred is never ended by hatred but by love”. That is what should work in theory, but it is hard with human nature. The step to distrust your first instructive impression is a really hard thing to do. It really plays with pride and self-awareness. The other step that is really interesting is to “thank your opponent sincerely for the interest”. That may sometimes come off as passive aggressive, but it would start a better conversation in the future. The quote “I may be wrong. Let’s examine the facts”. I realize that I say that I have been saying that when I have to deal with conflict. I usually say this when I have to confront someone. The second principle is to show respect for another person’s opinion. I usually think about roommate conflicts and political conversations when I think of respecting the other person’s opinion. General Lee made positive comments about a fellow officer, and the officer did not like General Lee at all. General responded to that by saying ” but the president asked my opinion of him; he did not ask his opinion of me”. I think this really encompassed the of being the bigger person. There are many perspectives of how you are perceived, but you can only control one of them. The third principle is saying that “if you wrong admit it quickly and empathetically”. The quote says “by fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected”. I think in order for those times when you would like people to conclude that they made a mistake I have to do the same when it happens to me. The fourth principle was to begin in a friendly way. The quote says “a door of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall”. Overall, being nice will always better the situation. The fifth principle is to get the person saying a “yes yes”, which is the Socratic method. This seems like a manipulative measure, but it also gets things done. The eleventh principle is to dramatize your ideas, and I do not think I use it that much. I do think I do that when I tell stories, in order for people to connect. The last principle is to throw down a challenge. I never saw life as that, but I think it will help!
Part Four – Be a leader: How to change people without given offense or arousing resentment.
The first principle is, to begin with, praise and honest appreciation. Carl Landford talked about how he had an open door policy. The ones that stood out to me were the sixth principle, where we would praise the slightest improvement and praise improvements. I think we can do that for the seventh principle, where then you give the persona a fine reputation to live up to. The eighth principle says to use encouragement to make fault seem easy to correct, which is to make the fault seem easy to correct. This will allow the changes to be made, without losing the following that you need. It makes people feel equal.