The Seven Principles for Effective Influence – by Dale Carnegie

The Seven Principles for Effective Influence – by Dale Carnegie

Great business (and personal) advice!

The Seven Principles for Effective Influence

A leader who hears everyone, creates team synergy, and guides teams toward the best outcomes is highly respected

Recently, I read research in Fortune magazine on the skills that will be in highest demand over the next five to 10 years as specified by employers.  The article stated: “Those [in-demand] skills did not include business acumen, analysis, or P&L management. Instead, relationship building, teaming, co-creativity, culture sensitivity, and managing diverse employees were all near the top.”  The research stated that “building the skills of human interaction, embracing our most essentially human traits will play to some people’s strengths and make others deeply uncomfortable.  Those people (the latter) will be in trouble.”

To help with this, of many principles in Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People, here are some simple yet highly effective pointers for leaders who want to build relationships and influence people in the global business world in which we operate.

1. “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Learn how to pronounce people’s name accurately, and remember their names, regardless of language difficulties.  For example, address them by their real name and not a nickname.  It builds immediate rapport, which is prerequisite for trust.

2. “Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.” Learn certain phrases in the foreign language, such as hello, goodbye, please, thank you, won’t you please, and would you mind.

3. “The only way to get the best of an argument is avoid it.” Particularly in cultures where saving face is paramount, losing an argument can destroy rapport with the winner.  “You can’t win argument in many situations because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.” Why? Because nine times out of 10, an argument ends with each more firmly convinced than ever that he/she is absolutely right.

4. “Begin in a friendly way.”  It’s a timeless principle applicable to any culture, as demonstrated by Aesop, who in one of his immortal fables wrote how the sun can make you take your coat off more quickly than the wind.  “Kindliness, the friendly approach, and appreciation can help others change their minds more readily than all the bluster and storming in the world,” wrote Dale Carnegie.

5. “Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.” This, too, is a timeless, international principle, as demonstrated by the writings of Chinese sage Lao-tse, 25 centuries ago: “The reason why rivers and seas receive the homage of a hundred mountain streams is that they keep below them. Thus they are able to reign over the mountain streams.”

6. “Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.” Asking questions makes requests more acceptable, stimulates the creativity of people, gives them a feeling of importance, and saves their pride.  Say things such as: “Do you think this will work?” or “You might consider this.”

7. “Make the other person happy about the thing you suggest.” Here are four specific steps recommended by Dale Carnegie:

  • Be sincere; concentrate on the benefits to the other person.
  • Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
  • Be empathetic.  Ask yourself what it is the other person really wants.
  • Match the benefits to the other person’s wants.

A leader who is seen as proficient at hearing everyone, creating team synergy, and guiding teams toward the best outcomes is highly respected in an international environment. By earning respect in this way and be being inclusive and using good influence skills, a leader will be heard and followed.

By Daniel Handley, Regional President & CEO, Dale Carnegie Training

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