All things being equal, you’d likely prefer to be nice.
Virtually nobody shows up with a goal to anger and intimidate. Yet, that’s exactly what’s perceived in many workplaces.
When other people aren’t nice, it’s a character flaw. When it’s you not being nice, there’s a perfectly logical reason.
You can’t control others but you can control you. Get more of what you want by being nicer to others. Here are five principles from Dale Carnegie to use each day:
1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
The report you are owed from your colleague is overdue. You’ve reminded them once already. Your boss is asking for the data.
You’re tempted to send a critical email, express frustration, or question their commitment or capability.
Will you instead stop to understand where they are coming from?
Dale Carnegie said, “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain — and most fools do.”
Nice people work to understand before they criticize.
Our family recently sought a service provider. We found a good option online, but the person in the photo wasn’t smiling. We came close to passing them up.
Thankfully, we heard good things from others and they ended up being both competent and kind. Working with them was the right decision.
And it almost didn’t happen — because of what we didn’t see on their face.
What do people see on your face? You may be the nicest person in the world, but if if others can’t tell, it doesn’t matter.
A past audio lesson from the Carnegie Coach podcast will help you bring out that smile.
3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
You’ve likely had this happen:
Someone you’ve hired, perhaps a service provider, asks for your name.
The next time they see you, they ask again.
Same thing the next time.
What’s you conclusion after someone can’t remember your name a few times? Most people say something like this:
Clearly they don’t care about me.
Whether it’s the case or not, an inability to remember a name communicates a lack of care or concern.
How consistently are you remembering the names of your customers, colleagues, and acquaintances? My college Nathan Czubaj and I recorded a lesson last year to help you do better.
4. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
Dale Carnegie was a fan of strawberries and creme. He was also a fan of fishing.
In How to Win Friends and Influence People, he says,
When I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and creme. Rather, I dangled a worm.
Have you neglected this when fishing for people?
Most of us can easily talk about ourselves. The nicest people learn that what’s interesting to them isn’t likely to be interesting to others…
…and they focus the conversation on the other person’s interests.
5. Begin in a friendly way
When I was old enough to use the telephone, I’d often call my dad at work to see how his day was going or to ask him a question.
This was long before caller ID, yet every time he picked up the phone and heard my voice, he exclaimed either “Dave!” or “Son!” with genuine enthusiasm.
As such, I sought out every opportunity to call.
Consistently beginning in a friendly way means that people look forward to talking with you, helping you, and proactively looking out for you.