Here is my take on Carnegie:
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 for 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!
Have you experienced this concept at work and how did it impact you?
When thinking about the “how” I thought about my job in residence life at UMW. This past semester I became a Senior Resident Assistant, so I had more responsibility than I did before. I was new at being in charge of a group of RAs and hundreds of residents. I think these simple tips are really good at learning to be a leader one bit at a time. I now see how the things I did unintentionally helped me be seen as a leader to my co-workers.
What I like to really do is give that honest and sincere appreciation to the people I work with and work for. I remember how it impacted me when someone went out of their way to show me some appreciation. I also will never forget when I was underestimated or felt left out. As a Senior Resident Assistant, I needed everyone to feel welcome and trusted. That starts with making people feel like the work they are doing is contributing. I have been making an effort to tell each of my team members that the tasks that they do really help. It only elevates the team. There was one time where I talked to a team member who was really stressed, and not working as usual. I gave her sincere appreciation for telling her it is good she is passionate and invested in our group project. She wants to have good results, and I told her that she has the support of our staff. We all just have different ways of doing it. I wanted to let her know that she was not being attacked and that she was greatly appreciated being on our staff. I think this is done with positive reinforcement. Another thing Carnegie says to do says to talk in terms of the other’s personal interests. I did this with a fellow group member, whom I realized worked in the same field as I do. We did not really know each other, but like what happens on this campus we had seen each other before. I started to talk to him about our project, but I felt like we were not on the same page. I started to bring up we were both working jobs that have commons denominator, and we bonded through that. That led us to work better with each other because we were more comfortable. We even used the experiences we had in our jobs to work on our school project. It naturally helped to talk in terms of the other’s personal interests. One thing that I need to do better on is remembering and saying the names of who I am talking to out loud. I have noticed that I pay attention more when people say my name out loud when they talk to me. I have residents on my floor that I try to say hi “insert name here”, instead of just saying hi. It makes the biggest difference for a such a small and subtle action. It makes people feel that they are differentiated from everyone else. It said in Carnegie that it is sweetest and most important word to someone.
I have noticed that I have used some of the principles, but there are also some principles I can actively use to help me be a better leader!
Why did we read this book?
This book was assigned to not only how to be a successful person in a professional sense, but to also give the tips on how to be an all-around good human being. I think the point of getting a liberal education is to see the world beyond what needs to be taught in a classroom. There is a reason why some people come out on top. The business environment is seen as a dog-eat-dog world, but the people who can connect with other people is the obvious strategy for being successful. I think the book is trying to say if you put out the genuine feelings, then the same will be done to you. One of the course objectives for this class is to “increase your self-awareness and personal growth through self-administered surveys”, and this book really was a big survey of how I am as a person.
I thought this book was going to give me tips on body language or specific things to say to manipulate people into liking you, but it really was genuine stuff. It really emphasized doing the things that other people want. The quote “talking to people about themselves and they will listen for hours”. Once we get people comfortable with us, then that allows us endless amounts of opportunities with that person. I would think that I would not want to work with someone, who did not have the same respect that I do for them. A consistent message I saw was to show appreciation for others. This is again everyone wants at one point. If we treat people the way we want to be treated, then we will also be treated in the long run the same way. I think appreciating people always elevates the situation
I think the biggest lesson I got was to make sure was to be knowledgeable about who I am. We judge and bring other people down because we are not in a good place. I think we have self-hatred, and that allows us to have an excuse to be bad towards other people. At the end of the day, we not only hurt the other person, but we hurt ourselves. I had to do a lot of self-thinking that was not always so pleasant. We always think that we are the victim, but sometimes we end up doing bad things that make other people feel bad. It is a vicious cycle if we do not act upon it. We have to take action on ourselves to make the situation the best it can be. That being said it also means saying that we are wrong, and owning up to it. That is really hard to do. Successful leaders are not the ones who think of good ideas, but the people who know how to deal with different kinds of people. This allows all people involved to stay motivated, and thus it elevates the company. Overall, the skills and knowledge I learn from the book are things I can carry into any part of my life. Life is more than just business, so we might as well make it a caring and nice environment. We just have to be good people, and the business and success will come with it.
Overall, I think that this book has a great way of describing things that everyone knows as general rules of being a good human being. I think that taking these small principles will really make adaptable and viable changes in our lives. It is one thing to be nice to people, but once we see that it benefits everyone involved it seems like the only way to go! We will be able to frame the world in ways we did not know that really affected us. We would be able to be more of a group-oriented society compared to our individualistic society in the Western world. It would change the way the business world works. It would change the way we treat each other. It would indeed make the world better.
Talk to you all soon. Good luck this week!