In the last post, Creating You. Forming a Positive Mental Attitude., we discussed the importance of a strong positive mental attitude. The benefits and, just as important, how to obtain a positive mental attitude. Take a minute to read over it before we move on to today’s discussion.
There is one book that needs to be read in order to understand how to communicate with people. Only one. Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. As far as I’m concerned no other book on how to treat people ever needed to be written or read. If, after reading this article, you are still curious on the subject then I cannot recommend to you enough that you check out Carnegie’s masterpiece.
Many of the thoughts and ideas in this post come from the ideas brought forth in this book. But ideas and thoughts like these are only valuable if used in your every day life. I found the principles from Carnegie’s book to be eye opening. At certain points I felt gratified knowing I was doing some things right and at other times I felt humiliated knowing I was doing things so completely wrong.
How you treat others is as important as anything in creating the best possible version of you. In the same way that having a positive mental attitude will do for you, treating others with love and respect will cause others to treat you the same way. Remember the golden rule, “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself”. You will not have many friends unless you are friendly. You will not find love unless you are loving. You will not be shown respect unless you are respectful and you will not be treated with care and compassion unless you are caring and compassionate.
Below are a few of the Rules that we humans should live be. They are in no order and should be used as often as possible.
- Get people to talk about themselves. We love to talk about ourselves. Even those of us who are a bit shy or introverted, it feels good to actually talk about ourselves. But what’s more important is how annoying it is to listen to a person go on and on about themselves with no care in the world about what the person they are talking with has going on. We all know people who are like this. Eventually it gets old and people will no longer be interested in talking with them.
- Ask people about their loved ones. I have a few friends who always ask about my family. It means so much to me. I never used to be like this before reading Carnegie’s book and then noticing these friends doing this. Now I try to ask every person I can about their family, friends, even pets! Try to make this a daily part of your interactions.
- Memorize names and use them in coversation. Ugh. This one is very difficult but so important. Do whatever it takes to memorize the names of people you meet. A good way to do this is to use their names immediately after hearing it. Your freind says, “Joe, this is Sally, Sally this is Joe.” You say, “Hello Sally, it’s nice to meet you” Try to use the name again during your initial conversation and then one last time at the end of your conversation. People LOVE to hear their names. Use the name of the person you are talking to as often as possible.
- Never criticize. Criticizing people will only create tension between you and the person you are criticizing. It won’t change anything at all. Try it for yourself. The next time you are criticized, pay attention to how you feel. Do you want to change anything? If you really want to help a person who you want to criticize, try coming at them with a softer approach. Complement them on something they did correctly and show them how they could have done whatever you want to criticize better. This isn’t a “the world is getting soft” issue. This is how do I get this person to do his best issue.
- When listening, pretend that the person who is talking is the most important person in the world. Make eye contact with them. Don’t fiddle, or look around or pull out your phone. Look at them and give them all the attention you possible can. Allow them to talk without you interrupting. When they are done talking, wait a second before you talk. Allow them to express their point of view. Remember, they are the most important person in the world.
- When you do talk, smile. Smile while talking. This is pure gold. People will absolutely love to talk with when you smile while talking. People will want to be with you more often and will actually want to hear what you have to say.
- Complement people whenever possible. Always try to say something nice about a person. Notice if a woman changed her hair style or if a man has lost some weight. A new outfit, pair of glasses or shoes, anything. The idea is to get a person to feel better about themselves. Use any opportunity to do so.
What are some of your ideas for communicating with others?