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In 1936, Dale Carnegie’s very famous self help book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” hit the book shelves and within months had become a sought after book.

Since the 30s, millions of leaders, business executives, corporate types, bakers, butchers, bankers, and soccer moms have turned to this book to give them advice on leadership, communication and relationships. It has spawned a whole generation of self-help authors, teachers, and coaches – present company included ?

And guess what…. 80 years later and we are still talking, and teaching, about the same things.

Which begs the question…if we know the answer, why aren’t we all great communicators and influencers yet?

Why are we still trying to win friends and influence people?

Why are self-help gurus still getting rich, while peddling the same thing Dale wrote 80 years ago?

Perhaps the reason is simple. Its easy to read a book and nod along to the answers that are given. Its easy to listen to a self-help podcast and agree whole heartedly with the presenter. Its easy to read books, attend leadership courses, and have wonderful conversations in masterclasses. But its damn hard to actually make change.

Doing is very different from knowing.

Its hard to look at the advice in the book and deny that putting these things into practice wouldn’t increase the enjoyment in our lives. But who doesn’t like a little gossip about the neighbour who always leaves their bin out? Or the colleague that never arrives to meetings on time?

We know what to do, yet the enjoyment that we get from being a little ‘naughty’ stops us from truly becoming the influencer that Dale know’s we can be.

We have an innate desire to win and sadly that means that we don’t put the Carnegie advice into practice as often as we could. Truly, I could write pages and pages on this topic alone and why its stopping us from being the best version of ourselves, but you’ll get bored and my internet bandwidth may give up half way through.

So instead I’m going to leave you with the 30 items that Dale talks about in his book as a reminder to work towards these things, instead of the win, and we will all be in a better place.

I read this book for the first time when I was 14 years old, and I’ve read it at least 4 times since then.  I receive a new insight every time I indulge in this classic book. If you are still to read it, download it on your Kindle or Audible and have a listen.  NB: my fellow modern feminists, please remember the time that this book was written and just do some gender editing while you read it 😉

Why not test yourself against them. Give yourself a score out of 4 – with 1 being, ‘eek I’m so bad at this’, and 4 being, ‘yep I’ve nailed that one’. See how you are going with this 80 year old guide to life.

Enjoy, and grow….

  1. Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain
  2. Give Honest, Sincere, Appreciation
  3. Arouse In The Other Person An Eager Want
  4. Become Genuinely Interested In Other People
  5. Smile
  6. Remember That A Person’s Name Is To That Person The Sweetest And Most Important Sound In Any Language
  7. Be A Good Listener. Encourage Others To Talk About Themselves
  8. Talk In Terms Of The Other Person’s Interests
  9. Make The Other Person Feel Important – And Do It Sincerely
  10. The Only Way To Get The Best Of An Argument Is To Avoid It
  11. Show Respect For The Other Person’s Opinion. Never Say, “You’re Wrong.”
  12. If You Are Wrong Admit It Quickly And Emphatically
  13. Begin In A Friendly Manner
  14. Get The Other Person Saying “Yes, Yes”
  15. Let The Other Person Do A Great Deal Of The Talking
  16. Let The Other Person Feel That The Idea Is His Or Hers
  17. Try Honestly To See Things From The Other Person’s Point Of View
  18. Be Sympathetic With The Other Person’s Ideas And Desires
  19. Appeal To The Nobler Motives
  20. Dramatize Your Ideas
  21. Throw Down A Challenge
  22. Begin With Praise And Honest Appreciation
  23. Call Attention To People’s Mistakes Indirectly
  24. Talk About Your Own Mistakes Before Criticizing The Other Person
  25. Ask Questions Instead Of Giving Direct Orders
  26. Let The Other Person Save Face
  27. Praise The Slightest Improvement And Praise Every Improvement. Be “Hearty In Your Approbation And Lavish In Your Praise”.
  28. Give The Other Person A Fine Reputation To Live Up To
  29. Use Encouragement. Make The Fault Seem Easy To Correct
  30. Make The Other Person Happy About Doing The Thing You Suggest

I know you are an influencer, you just need to believe it, and put it into action.

Michelle is a culture and leadership specialist, who is an accredited practitioner for the Life Styles Inventory (LSI Behaviour Profiling Tool). If you are curious to learn more about behaviour styles and the way your choices and thinking determines the way you live your life, get in touch. The LSI behaviour styles is also a great way to introduce your team to a new way of working.

Connect with Michelle and send her a LinkedIn message to find out more.

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