Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stop Winning and Start Communicating

I may have mentioned before that I instruct a course in Effective Communications to new franchisees and employees of ICED . The course is based on the principles of Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Some of the text is a bit dated, having originally been published in 1936; however the ideas are still valid today.
I am sitting here looking a poster based on part three of the book “How to win people to your way of thinking” and have decided it needs to be reworked.

Generally, people form their opinions based on their own filters and experience. Their way of thinking isn’t necessarily wrong, unless it is based on incorrect information. The book wants us to be friendly, avoid arguing, and show respect. Which are all fine and dandy, and principles that should not have to be spelled out to persons living in civilized society; however, I feel that principle 8 is the key. “Try honestly to see things from the other’s point of view”.

As any Mom will tell you, when two people tell you a story, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. This is probably true when it comes to most situations. “WINNING” someone to your way of thinking, insinuates that you have cajoled and badgered someone into changing their mind.

For example: If an employee believes they should be given a raise, and you believe they should not.
What are those opinions based on?
· Has the employee’s pay not kept up with cost of living? Have their circumstances changed and they need more income?
· As the employer are you staying up nights worrying about making payroll?
· Or are the opinions based sole on merit or lack thereof?

With the first 2 examples there is room to negotiate and see the others point of view and meet in the middle, or at the very least come to an understanding. The third however, there will probably be more of a conversation about expectations and performance.

It’s time to stop winning and start understanding.

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