Author and speaker Dale Carnegie was a master of understanding people and how they respond in the different facets of life. His timeless book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, has helped thousands of Sales Associates, Managers, CEO’s, Pastors, Parents and countless others deal more effectively with people. Copywritten in 1936, it continues to be a valuable resource for people desiring to interact more effectively with others.
And these days, dealing with people presents some real challenges. It seems, on a grand scale, that emotions are running exceedingly high and tolerance for differing opinions is running low. You may have observed that logic and common sense seem to have gone out the window. And maybe this should not be all that surprising.
Consider this observation from Carnegie that helps explain things. “When dealing with people, let us remember that 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”. 1. Let me remind you that this is not a 2020 observation. He published his book in 1936! People just don’t change much.
I don’t know what challenges you are facing in your leadership, but I’m guessing in some form or fashion they involve people. People who are convinced they are right and don’t care to be told otherwise. People who seem to have a perpetual short fuse and people who are self-absorbed. Dealing with such people requires both humility and empathy.
First, we must decide which particular mountains are worth dying on. Sometimes the most prudent and productive thing is to let the issue die. That takes strength and wisdom. If the issue is genuinely important then you must try hard to discover where the other person is coming from. What might be going on in their life that is leading to heightened emotion. What core belief may they find being challenged. Is fear of change showing up in an intense desire to control? Until you get some insights into why they are responding like they are, any effort to communicate effectively will be vastly diminished.
The beauty of this is that it presents a profound opportunity to demonstrate how much you care. And when people know you truly care you have a much higher probability of successful interactions. This will require you taking a genuine interest in them. People long to be acknowledged as important, heard and needed. If they feel that way it will greatly help you navigate the labyrinth of emotions they experience. The effort to do this will indeed, be worth it.
“You can’t logic your way through emotion” – The Goodvibe Co.
Live this week on purpose,
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. Simon and Schuster, Inc.