Napoleon, the Third Emperor of France and nephew of the great Napoleon, boasted that in spite of all his royal duties he could remember the name of every person he met. How to Win Friends and Influence People
A person’s name is the single most beautiful word for him in the universe. And it’s true for everyone but seldom we realize it and often we forget people’s name whom we meet on every other day. We think it’s not important, we think it doesn’t matter, but we are wrong in that.
Remember how happy you become when the teacher remembered your name in your school days, remember how awesome you felt at that time. Do you remember how you talked about that incident with your friends and family when the professor made it obvious that he remembered you by name?
In spite of reading this book several times, I still find it very difficult to remember people’s names and I still am bad at it but I am improving nevertheless.
Remember the time when I shared that I had to work on physical documents in my current project in order to get the things done(click here to recollect your memory). Turns out that there was a digital copy of everything all along that we didn’t know about. Since searching in physical documents was very hectic and time-consuming I was checking with everyone in the office about that digital copy and finally, I found all of it(I was so happy..!).
It sounds way too easy as I am writing this down but trust me finding something like this where nobody is co-operating is really difficult and that is exactly what I’ll talk about here in this article.
Here is a quote from Dale Carnegie on human engineering and negotiation skills.
“Even in such technical lines as engineering, about 15% of one’s financial success is due to one’s technical knowledge and about 85% is due to skill in human engineering, to personality and the ability to lead people.”
Yes, there were a lot of technical challenges that I had to face in order to make that database dump useful but again I got that piece of information not from my technical abilities but rather from my non-technical abilities. It’s very easy to complain in a hostile environment where nobody is co-operating but then these are the places where we get to use our negotiation and human engineering skills into play.
I used to have a hard time smiling at people, it was so tough and seemed useless to me. I also hated when people used to tell that I was wrong so nobody ever told me about it and smiling was a rare phenomenon for me for a long time.
A person who has a hard time smiling will probably have a difficult relationship with oneself too and it is more likely that he would be less happy with himself and that’s exactly was the case with me.
Let me tell you a secret, next time you encounter someone just smile genuinely and what you’ll notice is that the other person would also smile emphatically. When I started implementing this I was really nervous since I had never done something like this in my life before and it was really difficult but I did it anyway. It turned out to be a really an awesome experience and I have never stopped smiling since then.
A smile is contagious and we can’t abstain from smiling if the other person is genuine in his action and then for a very short time we become happy and it feels so good.
There are many times when in an argument we turn out to be right and we have an edge over the other person. Those are the times when we make sure to humiliate the other person for being wrong and we make sure to teach them a lesson for the same. That said, we also have an experience of being on the wrong side and have been taught the same lesson by others.
I have been on both side of the coin, I loved being right and have humiliated the other person for being wrong just to feed my ego.Also, I have been wrong many times and I hated it.
There is one more thing however, that we can do, which is let the other person save face. This we seldom do and it is little difficult also because we are not programmed that way. Our ego doesn’t allow this.
However, if we do this we could develop a unique bond with the other person which is much more precious than humiliation.
One of the most notorious public enemies of United States was Al Capone, and he regarded himself as public benefactor.
Is it strange behavior?
When was the last time you accepted that you were wrong entirely?
If something went wrong, it is not our fault and we tend to blame things on others, this is the reason we have a culture of “Blame Game” in corporate, and nobody wants to be responsible for the fault.
Many things which are legal in one country, are illegal in others, what message are you getting from this?
This means that a large number of people in one country have an opinion which is different than people living in other country.
We all are aware of the atrocities done by upper caste to the lower caste in India almost a century back, and same goes with white people on black people in America. It was only because lot of people believed that this is the way it should be and then it became a culture until someone changed it completely .
Next time if you have any challenges with dealing with people try to get into other person’s point of view and see things from their perspective, and remember that nobody is wrong and everybody has perspective.
There is an old Chinese proverb which says “A man without a smiling face must never open a shop“.
When was the last time you smiled during office hours apart from cracking a joke with your best buddies at work. We have become so professional in our jobs that we have almost forgotten this virtue.
Almost all the time we notice our superiors, not smiling and only giving orders, talking to us only when it is necessary, and then we always talk about the cold nature of the boss. What we forget in the process that we also act the same way, so why we are expecting them to be nice.For those who have forgotten this virtue needs it the most from others.
Smile costs nothing and in return gives a sense of fulfillment to the other person and also to us.
We also believe that for smiling we have to be happy from the inside first then only we can smile. The studies show something different. There is a psychological study on smile which says if we smile for 3-4 minutes for no reason, we can be become happy from the inside.
Our mind get fooled by the smile and if we continue to smile long enough it believes as if it is true and the mind start remembering the good things from the past and present and we become happy from the inside.
Smile is contagious, and it spreads happiness, please try to smile even if you are not happy from the inside, trust me the universe will make you happy if you smile long enough.
We all have been raised from childhood to achieve specific goal in our life, the goal may be getting promoted to a higher class or to win a cricket match.
In all those times we all have been looking up for guidance to the people above us and at that time they were our father, mother ,cricket coach or our big brother and we all grew up wanting to be like them.
Now that we are matured and many of us don’t have a concrete goal in front of us to achieve and our life is stable, we think this is it and we don’t feel like going an extra mile.
Well, we have always been like that, it was the mentors who were behind us who knew our true potential and pushed us further and we owe it to them big time for making us realize our potential.
I think that many of us don’t feel like having a mentor now, instead we take suggestions from the friends who are at our level only hence do not grow in our life the way we have grown in the past.
If you do not have a mentor , I would suggest to find one and follow him. For me books are one of the greatest mentor and helps me broaden my horizon.
Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Dale Carnegie, James Altucher and many others are my mentors who inspires me to think different and be unique and take risks and I am grateful to them. I am still searching for a mentor who can guide me personally who can help me reach my potential, I know I’ll find him one day because I am searching for him.
There is a message in everything, we should learn something from the fact that we have two ears and one tongue and it tells us, that we should listen twice as much as we speak.
So why don’t we.
We all want to be heard attentively, so why don’t we listen and get the other person’s opinion first, before talking.
Many times the problem get solved just by listening to the other person. In the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People the author Dale Carnegie describes the active listening of Sigmund Freud as Soul Penetrating and extraordinary and says that he listened so attentively that he didn’t have any idea of what it is meant to be listened like that.
In his book he also mentioned that at one time President Abraham Lincoln during the darkest hour of Civil war, called one of his neighbor to the White House to discuss a matter, Lincoln talked for hours and went over all the arguments for and against the matter, in the end he did not even ask for his neighbor’s opinion, all he wanted was a sympathetic listener to whom he could unburden himself. That is all we ever want when we are in trouble.
Listening is the virtue of all the great people around us and we should practice it more.