Last night one of my young friends, Dr Sean Chan gave my wife and I a very good dinner. He has a PhD in electric engineering from UK. He is an electric contractor and he is a specialist in certain testing process. When he heard that IEM invited me to give a talk on 5th October, he offered to take me there from Ipoh. He is a committee member of IEM Perak and he asked me whether he should get more involved with the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia. I told him that he should do so, so that he could make more friends and hopefully some of them can help him expand his business quickly.
I wish to take this opportunity to write this article to benefit all my readers.
Everyone needs help from other people. No one can go through life without any help from others. For a start, your mother needed help to give birth to you and you needed constant care. Even now when you wake up in the morning, you need some one to produce the clean water for you to drink.
A MBA graduate told me that during his 1year, one of the earliest lesson was “how to get more people to share your work”.
So, you can see the importance of getting someone to help you to complete any task. One of the most useful books I have read is called “ How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
When I started working, I used to give a copy of this book to each of section leaders so that I could perform more effeicetly. I strongly recommend you to read it if you have not read it before.
Let me give you the summary of this book.
Techniques in Handling People
- Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Arouse people’s interest.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
- The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
- If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
- Begin in a friendly way.
- Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
- Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
- Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
- Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
- Appeal to the nobler motives.
- Dramatize your ideas.
- Throw down a challenge.
- Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
- Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
- Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
- Let the other person save face.
- Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
- Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
- Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
- Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.
Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment. …. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.
That reminds me of this famous quote by Thomas Carlyle: “A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.”
On dealing with people
When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
On the secret of success
If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.