The beginning of a new year is a time when people resolve to improve their personal relationships, to achieve success in their business careers and to enhance the quality of their personal lives. Lofty goals all, but not easy to achieve.
A good place to start is to follow some proven principles that have been around for over 70 years. In his landmark book "How to Win Friends and Influence People," Dale Carnegie (@dalecarnegie) detailed 21 common sense principles that have stood the test of time. Over 15 million copies of the classic publication have been sold since it first appeared in 1937.
Nearly 25 years ago I attended the Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations and then returned as a volunteer graduate assistant. I can personally attest that the principles outlined in that course changed me dramatically and still form the core of my personal and professional life.
I can't think of a better way to start the year than to review those principles with you.
1. Don't criticize, condemn or complain
2. Give honest, sincere appreciation
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
6. Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
8. Talk in terms of the other person's interests
9. Make the other person feel important - and do it sincerely
10. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
11. Show respect for the other person's opinion. Never say, "you're wrong."
12. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
13. Begin in a friendly way
14. Get the other person saying "yes, yes," immediately
15. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
16. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers
17. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
18. Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires
19. Appeal to the nobler motives
20. Dramatize your ideas
21. Throw down a challenge.
What do you think? Do they make sense to you? Can they help you to achieve your goals?