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Week 3 Reflection: Part 1

I remember when I was about 10 or 11 years old my father required that my sister and I read HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE by Dale Carnegie. At the time I complained because what 11 year old wants to read a boring book about influencing people – ew. When I was 11 I only finished about half of it because I am pretty sure there was a softball game I had to go too but, when I was about 15 I re-read the book. When I was 15 I found this book profound a classic and I still do to this day.

The principles that Dale Carnegie teaches and expounds upon on [to me] are the same principles that my grandmother taught me and her grandmother before her and for many generations before. Plainly, Carnegie wrote a book that essentially tells you to be a good person. But, the tactics he took to write this book is what makes it so profound. To be able to boil ‘a good person’ into four parts that each have their own principles is ingenious to me and not only that Carnegie’s principles can be carried into every single part of your life and business.

I have been incorporating Carnegie’s principles in my life since I was 15 years old. There are three main principles that I love and follow. These three principles have proven to be very effective in my life and have ultimately lead me to clients, speaking opportunities and working relationships.

The first is from Part 1: Give Honest and Sincere Appreciation, I believe to my core that by giving honest feedback and being sincere will show a real authenticity about who you are. This has been changed the course of many discussions I have been a part of because I was able, to be honest, and sincere. When I work people, they don’t want a *hit-filled-sandwich, they want real, sincere and honest feedback – that is how they move forward in their business.

Second is from Part 2: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”, everyone loves to point fingers and call people out on their own opinions – in business – I find it a waste of time and inconsiderate- also bad business. Respecting a person’s opinions is the first part of any and all work relationships that I am apart of. There is no way I am going to tell someone they are wrong – I am going to explain and different path and explain why mine is the best course or how we can incorporate the two together. By pointing out someone is wrong leads them to believe that you are not a respectful and easy person to work with – they will think you are cocky and full of yourself. This is not something you want your clients to think of you as.

Lastly is from Part 4: Is, ask questions instead of giving direct orders. I love the questions that people ask! I find them the best way to grow and explain processes or systems. Questions are the way business conversations move forward and allow for honest and open dialogue. If you sit in a business meeting with me – I ask questions and I encourage my clients and my potential clients to ask as many questions as they want and as many as they need to be answered.

Carnegie transformed my way of thinking and my of acting with his profound book. I am sure I would have figured out all of these principles sooner or later – however, Carnegie explains it and reflects on situations that allow me to a better friend and be able to influence people.

Author

drobert2@umw.edu

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