Dale Carnegie’s classic book, “How to win friends and influence people” came out in originally in 1937, but remains very significant in how leaders lead today. Carnegie’s wisdom has remained relevant for generations because he shares timeless principals about the fine art of relating to people with the ability to influence others and successfully navigate any social situation.
These principals are applicable in any area of our lives whether we are looking for a new job, building new relationships with clients, creating a bigger a network and leading a team.
Dale Carnegie explains that the majority of our success in life depends on our ability to communicate and manage personal relationships effectively, whether at home or at work. How to Win Friends and Influence People can help leaders discover and develop the people skills you need to live well and prosper in your life journey.
The core principle of the classic book is human relations. Carnegie describes the fundamentals of handling people with a positive approach; how to make people like you and want to help you; how to win people to your way of thinking without conflict; and how to be the kind of leader who inspires quality work, increased productivity, and high morale.
For leaders, the book is a must read. Leaders are more effective when they are respected and provide positive influence — people generally want to work for, and with, people they like.
I would like to share a few principles from the book that can help leaders become more influential in their human relations. I have built upon these from my personal journey of leadership.
How do you influence your employees and inspire enthusiasm with the people you lead every day?
Become genuinely interested in other people-Influence is largely based on how well you are connecting to the people around you. Are you taking the time to BE interested in others and not just communicating your autobiography? When you show genuine interest in another person, it communicates that you sincerely care for their thoughts, feelings and value their contribution.
Be good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves–Remember it’s not about you. Great leaders create a safe space by listening with empathy and understanding. They thrive on collaboration and co-creation by encouraging others to share ideas and move forward together to win. Think of a person who is a great listener: Why do you choose to speak with them? What makes them a good listener?
Be personable– It may be frightening to share your personal story with others, but if you want to gain the highest trust, make others feel like they know you even if you don’t interact with them often. Allow people to connect and get to know you better.
Admit your faults quickly– Most leaders are not sure about admitting their own faults—this is especially true if you’re an executive or in a senior leadership position at your company. But if you can readily admit when you’re wrong, you are communicating to your team that you care about them and that you are self-aware how your behavior affects everyone in the organization.
Show respect for the other person’s opinion. Never tell them they are wrong–Great leaders find ways to influence positively even when the heat is on and there is a conflict. Telling someone they are wrong creates resentment and the leader resorts to control and command style of leadership by “showing” people they are inferior to his beliefs.
There is a great opportunity to be an inquiring leader and appreciate the opinions and thoughts of others through curiosity and discovery. You don’t want to be the one that comes across as the “smartest guy” in the room but someone who finds the jewel in someone’s opinion even if you don’t agree with them.