How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie, is a must read book about human relations. It is undeniably one of the best business books around. It contains many techniques that can help you develop a strong foundation to winning friends and influencing people. In order to learn to do these techniques well, it is going to take hard work and perseverance. Some of these principles will come naturally, while others will be a real challenge.
For me, one of the most important techniques will be one of the hardest for me to learn. Seeing things from the other persons point of view is something I have a very difficult time doing. I get frustrated easily and explode, without ever putting myself in the other person’s shoes. I know what I need to do, the question is, how do I do it? This skill is much easier said than done. When I feel angry or frustrated with someone, instead of allowing my temper to get the best of me, I could ask myself, what would I do in this person shoes? And approach the situation accordingly. I plan to try a ten second rule, before I say anything I will take at least 10 seconds to think about the situation from the other person’s point of view. This sounds so simple, but it will be a hard habit to make. In order to be successful I must find the way to master this skill.
There is one technique that comes more natural, and I will be able to learn to do it well in a small amount of time. This is a simple technique, but it is still extremely powerful. What is this technique? Smile. A smile is a powerful tool. Think about it, when a person is smiling, they appear so much more trustworthy. Recently, I volunteered at the public school to teach archery to 5th graders in hopes that they would perhaps join our team. The first day I went, it was cold and early in the morning. I was really tired and freezing cold. The first student came up, she was intimidated. This girl had never touched a bow, and she needed a lot of help. She did not want to shoot all of the arrows, and she went and sat down. I was failing as an instructor, I did a bad job helping that first student. I thought to myself, “how can I make the child feel more comfortable?” And Immediately I thought about Dale Carnegie’s book. I decided for starters I should just smile. The next student (also a terrified young girl) came up, I smiled and told her how much fun archery can be and she immediately began to relax, and enjoy herself. It was much easier to coach when I could gain the trust of the student. This is only one small instance, with just a smile you can go a long way.