Is it Possible to Change Other’s Behavior By Changing Your Behavior Toward Them?
By: Mark Matteson
"A turning point in my life came in 1982, at age 25. I purchased a paperback copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” for .50 cents at a garage sale and kept it in my service truck. I used to read it at lunch. It inspired me to begin listening to audio cassettes, books on tape. I quit listening to my extensive Blues collection, gave up the front page of the newspaper and began keeping a journal. I turned into a sponge. As an HVAC Technician I had a C+ level of technical skills but with Dale Carnegie’s help, I became an A+ People Guy. Sales and opportunity soon followed. It became my People Handbook, my Human Relations Bible. That copy is so dog-eared pages fall out when I open it. Born in Maryville, Missouri on November 24, 1888, Dale knew only poverty as a boy. He ascended to become the top salesman in his company and region by hard work and study. He moved to New York City in 1911 and began teaching Public Speaking Courses at night so he could research and write during the day. In 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People was published in the teeth of the Great Depression. Over the next 20 years it went on to sell over 5,000,000 copies by his untimely death in 1955. Dale believed and taught that: “It’s possible to change other people’s behavior by changing one’s behavior toward them.” The ideas seemed counter-intuitive to me at the time, he wrote things like:
“You can make more friends in two-months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two-years trying to get them interested in you.” “Talk to someone about themselves and they can listen for hours!” “Any fool can criticize, complain and condemn and most fools do. But it takes real character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
I recently re-read this classic self-help book and listened to it on CD. I borrowed my ten favorite and added ten of my own to create my Top 20. What if I were to turn these timeless principles into affirmations or goals, and bombard my subconscious, (as in, record onto Garage Band, transfer to i-tunes and load on my i-phone and listen to them 1,000 times, which will take me about a month) I could raise my interpersonal relationship bar to M. Ghandi/A. Lincoln/M.L. King status. So here we go, My Top 20 Human Relations Goals, submitted for your approval:
1. “I smile to as many people as I can all day long.”
2.“I have an amazing memory for names. I employ I.R.A. (Impression, Repetition, Association) so their name sticks in my mind.”
3.“I dominate the listening in every conversation and people enjoy being around me! I love to listen and learn all day.”
4.“I employ ‘Yes AND’ while I listen to keep the spotlight on other people. I observe, acknowledge and heighten what I hear to make my conversations about others. It’s not about me!”
5.“I am a GOOD-Finder. I enjoy catching others doing things right. ‘Good for you!’ is my favorite phrase. I enjoy making others feel important.”
6.“I avoid arguments, negative or mean people. I smile politely and walk away. I would rather be happy than right.”
7.“I show respect for other people’s opinions, often saying, ‘You feel strongly about that...’ I resist the temptation to correct, criticize or condemn.”
8.“When I am wrong, I promptly admit it. Life is too short to be a jerk.”
9.“I begin a conversation in a friendly way. My attitude and approach to others is consistently positive, affirming and kind.”
10. “I ask Open-Ended Questions (Who, What, Where, When, How, Why) to learn more about the people I meet. I am naturally curious.”
11. “I enjoy silence. I think twice and speak once or not at all.”
12. “I let other people feel the idea was theirs. I often give credit away. I build other people’s confidence and esteem.. I grow people.”
13. “I am an Empathetic Man, easily and consistently seeing things from the other person’s point of view.”
14. “I am sympathetic with other people’s struggles and challenges. I truly care about my fellow man.”
15. “I appeal to a noble motive to inspire others to greater heights. I dare them, nudge them, assist them in releasing their potential. I throw down a challenge to raise the bar!”
16. “I dramatize my ideas with inspiring and relevant stories to make a point and motivate others to change for the better.”
17. “I genuinely love people and I am making a difference in millions of lives.”
18. “I consistently say positive or empowering things behind other people’s back. It usually gets back to them. I avoid gossip like a deadly virus.”
19. “I speak in terms of other people’s interests. I am OTHERCentered.”
20. “I affirm these goals twice a day, as they are rapidly becoming a natural and organic part of who I am. I know that all meaningful and lasting change starts first on the inside and works it way out. I love people and my life.”
Imagine what would happen and how your relationships might change for the good if you read these 20 Goals twice a day for 30-days? Better still, record them and store them on your I-phone and listen to them 10x a day while you drive, workout or nap! You just might win way more friends and influence everyone you meet...but that wouldn’t work where you live....or would it? I kind of miss that old service truck. Come to think of it, I kind of miss audio cassettes too...you know, twisting the reel to make certain it plays right; okay, not really. Now where did I put my I-phone?
A Little Something Extra
Every once a while I come across something that makes me say wow. I do not know who wrote this. One thing is clear, it’s an amalgam, a jambalaya of ideas from a myriad of sources. It IS, at least to me, inspiring.
“Fear less, hope more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more and all good things will be yours. Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience. Sing your song, dance your dance, dream your dreams, hope your hope. The future depends upon what we do in the present. You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. Never, never, never, never give up. Fall down seven times, stand up eight. The harder you work, the luckier you get. No matter what you do, there will always be critics. Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. 80% of success is just showing up on time. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, those who matter don’t mind. Believe deep down in your heart and soul that you are destined to do great things. Whatever you are, be a good one. Love is far better than anger, hope is better than despair, forgiveness is better than resentment so let’s be loving, hopeful, forgiving and optimistic. We will change the world.”
I hope you liked that half as much as I did. Make it a great life. Why not you?"
Mark will be coming to speak at the PMC/SMACCA Office on April 4, 2017 for two different sessions. The first session is on sales success strategies. The second session is customer service excellence.
To see the full flyer and register for this informative event click here.
Source: Mark Matteson