Dale Carnegie founded his training program in 1912. Over 100 years later, the same course is taught to students, business people and leaders. The course is not just about public speaking, but building relationships, influencing people to your way of thinking and finally becoming a leader.
In 1936 he wrote his famous book, How to Win friends and Influence People. It is from this book, that the principles to winning friends and influencing people was born. Using his key principles as a guide, we can bring about change within our organization. How these principles enable a Reliability Culture will be covered in this and the next two posts.
When I took the Dale Carnegie® course, I took it for the purpose of public speaking. Being responsible for training groups of people, I had to be confident. This course unlocked that confidence and more. It allowed me to start the journey of building a Reliability Culture. The first step in this process was to build relationships with the people that are the heart of the culture.
Starting with the first set of principles, we focus on building authentic and sincere relationships. If you are going to try this for a quick win and do not care to build meaningful relationships, then do not continue reading. If you want to build meaningful relationships, and change the culture in a sustainable manner, then please proceed.
- Don’t Criticize, condemn or complain. Regardless who is responsible for a breakdown, a missed schedule, or lack of funds. Do not complain. It turns people off and erodes your creditability.
- Give honest, sincere appreciation. One of the things most commonly cited by employees as an issue, is that they do not feel appreciated. A simple thank you, followed up with a reason why will do wonders. Do not just give generic thank yous, point out a specific thing that they did.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want. Everyone wants to belong and to succeed. Use this to create a fire inside people. Everyone wants to be part of a winning team, create that want in your team.
- Become genuinely interested in other people. If you don’t know about your staff, take the time to find out about their family, their hobbies, and what makes them tick. Don’t just ask about these topics and forget them. Remember them and connect with your staff regularly.
- Smile. Enough said.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. I am sure you know your staff’s name, but what about the operations group? Learn their names and about them. They will be more willing to work with you and your team, when implementing changes.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. People love to talk about themselves and interests. This reinforces principle number four. If you listen, you will learn a great deal about issues, how to solve them and how to engage the people.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. Most people are at work to provide. Find out why they come to work every day. Is it to provide for a family? Then they would most likely want to spend more time with them. Let them know how the improvements you want to make will enable them to spend more time with their family.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely. When someone offers a suggestion, take note and involve them. Whether it is investigate the solution further or implementing a solution. Give them credit for the solution when it works, and take the blame when it doesn’t.
We all have our strengths and weakness, and when trying to build relationships with people, we need to utilize our strengths. Pick two or three of the above principles that you are comfortable with, and use them. Make it a point to use the two or three principles throughout the entire day. Let me know if you see a difference with anyone on you staff. Whether it is the easy to get along with staff or the more difficult people.
For further information on building relationships and these principles, please read the book that made this all possible, How to Win friends and Influence People. Remember, to find success, you must first solve the problem, then achieve the implementation of the solution, and finally sustain winning results.
I’m James Kovacevic
Where Education Meets Application
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”