Everyone is talking about networking. Everyone says it isn't about what you know, rather it is all about who you know. I want to take it a step further and say there is more to it then just knowing someone. It is about the relationships you make with that person. In today's newsletter I am going to give you three rules that will allow you to network with anyone. Before I begin, I want to say that Dale Carnegie's book: " How to Win Friends & Influence People is a must read. I understand that some people hate reading so here is an outline of the book. The outline covers every single chapter, print it out and look it over once a month. By reading the book and outline you will be a master of influencing others, plus you will be a much nicer person. The following thoughts are due to my reading of that book and most of the information you read here is from the book.The book covers this subject in depth, however it is 245 pages and I know most people won't read it so I decided to break it down into three rules.
Three Rules For Networking
Rule #1- Never criticize or tell someone they are wrong. Your point will never be taken by starting off the conversation by telling someone they are wrong or by criticizing them. You just hurt their pride and you embarrassed them. They will instantly go into self defense mode and start defending their point. People hate being told they are wrong, especially if you are making fun of them for being wrong, never insult someone's intelligence by calling them dumb for a statement they made. Instead of telling someone they are wrong, allow them to come to the conclusion themselves. Ask yourself, "why do I want to be right?'. Is your ego so big that you must be right all the time or are you so insecure that you need these little victories over others to boost your confidence? For me, it was a mixture of both, I had to be right all the time and this method never worked. People resent you, they stop talking to you. When talking about a subject, instead of saying they are wrong try to ask questions.. I want you to lead them to the answer. People will listen way more if they solve the question themselves. I think most people hate being told what to do because it doesn't allow them to feel important. I know I feel much better when I can solve something myself . Science can actually help explain this phenomenon. When you solve something your body secretes dopamine to make you feel good about yourself, you are given a reward for your hard work because dopamine is associated with memory. On the other hand , when someone gives you the answer you secrete no dopamine, which means you won't learn it as well. Therefore, we can conclude that if you want someone to change their ways, it is best to ask questions that lead them to the answer instead of telling therm they are wrong.
Rule #2- Give Praise. Do me a favor and think back to the last time someone gave you an honest, sincere compliment. I bet you are smiling thinking back on that memory. It felt really good right? I love when people compliment me, it makes my day, it makes me feel important. Thus, if compliments make me feel this way, then I am sure they make others feel the same way. Have you ever wondered why social media is so addicting? Social media gives us our fix of feeling important. I mean Instagram and Facebook are geniuses, they are manipulating your brain by how many "likes" you obtain. Instead of "liking" someone's status or picture, let's give them a compliment in real life. How about we give them a compliment in person, face to face so that the other person can tell if its genuine. Don't get me wrong getting a compliment over social media feels good, but it doesn't come close to the real thing. Now that we know the power of a genuine compliment why not use it on others? I am not suggesting you use this like a bag of tricks, this is not some con artist approach. This is a new way of life that should be done everyday. By giving praise and complementing the other person you begin to earn their trust. You can only earn their trust if the compliment is sincere, and trust me people can tell when you are lying, especially women! Therefore, for this to work you must be honest and mean it. When someone trusts you they are more likely to listen to you because you are looking out for their best interest. So if you are trying to win someone over to your way of thinking it best to give them a compliment and praise them. I know I mentioned this a million times but it is imperative that you understand. William James, a famous psychologist, says it perfectly:
"The deepest principle in human nature is the
craving to be appreciated. Here is a gnawing and unfaltering human hunger, and the rare
individual who honestly satisfies this heart hunger will hold people in
the palm of his or her hand and "even the undertaker will be sorry
when he dies."
Thus, if you wish to change someone's mind give them praise; give them a compliment. Next, ask them questions on the subject that will lead them to the answer. By doing these two things you will start having many more friends, but we can't win over everyone to our way of thinking and sometimes we might be wrong, which brings me to rule number 3.
Rule #3- Admit You Are Wrong. I used to suffer from a disease where I could never admit I was wrong. I had to always be right. I always thought my way was the best. I didn't intend to hurt anyone, I wanted to help people. I have finally realized that I don't know anything, and that there is nothing wrong with being wrong. Pause for a second. Now scream, " I am allowed to make mistakes!" DId you actually scream? It felt good right? Our world is addicted to this idea of perfectionism. The thought that you aren't allowed to make any mistakes. The idea that you must be right all the time. One of the greatest minds ever, Socrates, said: "one thing I know is that I know nothing." Let's just accept the fact that Socrates was probably way smarter than 99% of the population and if he can admit that he is wrong, I think we all can admit it too. There is a lot of power in admitting you are wrong. Also, there is a lot of power admitting when you have been wrong. Both are very useful in winning friends and influencing others. La Rochefoucauld, a French philosopher, said: “if you want enemies excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.” Go back and read that over a couple times because it took me a while to truly understand it. Very simply put, people don't like hearing you talk about how right you are because it makes them feel worthless, it doesn't let them feel important. By admitting your faults you are able to boost that person's self esteem because it makes them realize that they aren't alone. This will lead to an increase in confidence, which will make them feel good. People will forget what you tell them, but they will never forget how you made them feel. When you make a person feel confident, they feel comfortable. Thus, they will be comfortable around you, which will allow them to open up to you. I know when I am comfortable around someone, I tend to open up more and I believe other people are the same way. After all, I am not some alien, I am a human just like you. Most people share the same thoughts, but we are so afraid to let the world know about these thoughts. We fear the condemnation that comes with it. Yes, people love praise, but they fear condemnation the most. That is why by admitting you have been wrong is so amazing. It allows the other person to see that they are not alone in this. It allows them to realize that other people make mistakes just like them. So when trying to influence others to your way of thinking make sure you talk about your mistakes and make sure you admit when you are wrong. As La Rochefoucauld so eloquently put ,“if you want enemies excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.”
Let's sum this up real fast
When trying to network with someone or influence them to your way of thinking use the three rules above. When you are in a conversation, never tell someone they are wrong and refrain from criticizing them. Ask them questions that will allow them to find the answer themselves. By them figuring out the answer they will remember it better. Nonetheless, if you find yourself in a situation where you must criticize, make sure you give them a compliment before doing so. Remember, people love praise, but it must be genuine. It has to come from the heart, you have to be honest and sincere. People are not looking for flattery; we are looking to be appreciated, we want to feel important. Another way of satisfying this need to admit your mistakes. Your goal of each conversation is to make the person feel important. Every time you meet someone you should be anxious to compliment. Once their innate desire of importance is met, they are more likely to help you. I think we can all agree that people are much more likely to help a friend then a stranger.
I hope you guys enjoyed this. I urge you to read the book and the outline. This newsletter was just a glimpse, to master the principles you must read the book and practice it on a daily basis.