On The Bricks

June 6, 2017

There are six important principles, according to Dale Carnegie, to get people to like you. The first is to be genuinely interested in other people. That means finding out something about them rather than wanting to tell them all about yourself.

The second principle is to smile. So simple. So encouraging.

The third principle is to remember a person’s name. This one is one that I am bad at and need to improve.

The fourth principle is to be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves.

Concerning this one on listening, Carnegie has several interesting comments.

“I know and you know department store owners who will rent expensive space, buy their goods economically, dress their windows appealingly, spend thousands of dollars in advertising and then hire clerks who haven’t the sense to be good listeners – clerks who interrupt customers, contradict them, irritate them, and all but drive them from the store.

“A department store in Chicago almost lost a regular customer who spent several thousand dollars each year in that store because a store clerk wouldn’t listen. …. Had purchased a coat at a special sale. After she had brought it home she noticed that there was a tear in the lining. She came back the next day and asked the sales clerk to exchange it. The clerk refused even to listen to her complaint. ‘You bought this at a special sale,’ she said. She pointed to a sign on the wall. ‘Read that,’ she exclaimed. ‘All sales are final. Once you bought it, you have to keep it. Sew up the lining yourself.’

“The customer was about to walk out indignantly, swearing never to return to that store ever, when she was greeted by the department manager, who knew her from her many years of patronage. She told what had happened.

“The manager listened attentively to the whole story, examined the coat, and then said, ‘Special sales are final so we can dispose of merchandise at the end of the season. But this no return policy does not apply to damaged goods. We will certainly repair or replace the lining, or if you prefer, give you your money back.’

“What a difference in treatment! If that manager had not come along and listened to the customer, a long – term patron of that store could have been lost forever.
Abraham Lincoln, during the darkest hours of the Civil War, once wrote to an old friend in Springfield, Ill., asking him to come to Washington DC. When the friend arrived, Lincoln talked to him for hours. He then said good night and his friend went back to Illinois.

“Lincoln hadn’t wanted advice. He had wanted a friendly, sympathetic listener to whom he could unburden himself. That’s what we all want when we are in trouble. That is frequently all the irritated customer wants, and the dissatisfied employee, or the hurt friend.

“So, if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.”

The fifth principle follows closely. It is to talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

The sixth principle is to make others feel important.

Lots to focus on here. I am going to work on my listening skills. Lord knows, I need to!

Catch you on the bricks.