Dale Carnegie knew that the key to making others like him was to make the other person feel important.
In his book, “How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” he tells the story of waiting in line to register a letter in the post office at 33rd Street and Eighth Avenue in New York. While in line he noticed that the clerk appeared to be bored with the job—weighing envelopes, handing out stamps, making change, issuing receipts—the same monotonous grind year after year.
So Carnegie said to himself, “I am going to try to make that clerk like me. Obviously, to make him like me, I must say something nice, not about myself, but about him. What is there about him that I can honestly admire?”
And he noticed something.
When he got up to the window, as the clerk was weighing his envelope, Carnegie said, “I certainly wish I had your head of hair.”
The clerk looked up, half startled, his face beaming with a broad smile. “Well, it isn’t as good as it used to be,” he replied modestly.
Carnegie assured him that nevertheless it was still magnificent. The two carried on a pleasant conversation and the last thing the clerk said to him was, “Many people have admired my hair.”
Carnegie knew he had made the man’s day. He made him feel important. The clerk probably went home that night and told his wife about it. Carnegie’s comment was intended to only radiate a little happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying to get something out of the other person in return.
Use this approach often, as it’s the quickest and most-sure way to get someone like you instantly. Here’s an example of this principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan:
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