Time for a Change
At the beginning of 2016, I broke up with my wife. She moved out and I had to go through the painful task of packing her stuff. In the process, I ran into some random papers that turned out to be bitter memories of her struggle dealing with me.
A few months later I got fired because a colleague couldn’t take it anymore and complained to management about my unrealistic engineering standards, that I was asking everyone to meet.
These are the two most eye-opening happenings in my life so far.
My ex-wife and a dear friend suffering from my temper as husband and colleague.
Filled with shock and sorrow I sought the advice of a friend, and without a doubt, he gave me the book that changed my life:
This incredible book is almost 100 years old. Still, the teachings are fresh. I wept reading through the first chapters as I could clearly recognize many of my behaviors in the “avoid that” list:
- I used to correct my ex-wife in public
- I used to clearly point out errors in my colleagues work
- I used to interrupt people when I knew what they were about to say
I actually did all of that with the goodwill to help around and optimize conversations. Little I knew how they felt dismissed and diminished by me.
I certainly never asked.
The whole point of the book is to observe your behavior and help people feeling comfortable around you.
Reading on, I came across what apparently are very simple measures like listening carefully when someone is talking to you. The author Dale Carnegie has the ability to drive you deep into those principles and make them feel natural.
The whole point of the book is to give you advice and tools to be comfortable around people, and to make people comfortable around you: In any situation, you can be perceived as a threat or as a friend. And you really want to come through as a friend.
When you manage to create a friendly, calm, and open picture of yourself in others, you will easily win people's trust, and they will run the extra mile doing stuff for you, in the way you see best.
Good things require Great efforts
Please do understand that How to Win Friends & Influence People does not give you cheap tricks to fool people into doing things your way. It’s not a “can I borrow your pen?” collection of escamotages.
It took a great amount of energy and time to smooth my temper and slowly adopt the teachings from this book. I started with my close family. Mom, Dad, and my sisters. I began to call them on the phone and be interested, be curious about their life. I never did that before. And they liked it. And I liked it.
I also started to read more books about the psychology of people, friendship, and influence. In this context the word “influence” is benevolent. It doesn’t mean that you want to control people. Rather the other way around. It means that you want to get your message through, you want to play your game so that people hear what you are saying. Then they will make their own independent decisions.
If everyone speaks louder and louder
Nobody will understand a single thing
Most of us talk with the sole purpose - and hope - to be heard out. It is sad but true that if everyone speaks louder and louder, nobody will understand a single thing. Dale Carnegie teaches that true communication is not about being listened, but rather listening. It’s about embracing your partner's (or opponent's) point of view with empathic interest, so as to be better armed to find a way to get your message through, or even to turn your opponent’s arguments against them.
You try your best to help people to lower the wall they build around their mindset, and you achieve that by breaking through the wall that you built around yours.
You can buy this book RIGHT NOW, just follow this link:
How to Win Friends & Influence People