This is a guest post by Mark Sieverkropp. Mark and others have stepped in at a time of need for me to keep you guys going. For more information about that, read What’s Going On?
I’ve always been a fan of the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. That book holds sooo many practical suggestions and ideas for honing your skills with people. But today, I want to introduce you to someone who could certainly teach Mr. Carnegie a thing or two about how to interact with people in true rock-star fashion!
My four-year-old daughter, Brooklynn could run circles around Dale Carnegie when it comes to making friends and influencing people. Allow me to share with you a few of the things Brooklynn has taught me about dealing with others.
Compliment, Compliment, Compliment
I have an awesome mule deer hanging in our living room. I shot it four years ago. I was sitting on the couch the other day when my daughter says to me, “Dad, that’s a really nice deer you shot.” About 30 minutes later, again, out of the blue, she says to me, “Dad, you’re a great dad.”
Not only do those comments melt your heart as a parent, I would’ve driven all the way across town to get her a Happy Meal if she’d asked me right then!
Lesson: People like to be complimented, especially your team members. A quick “great job” will win HUGE points for you. (They may even go get you a Happy Meal if you ask!). Remember, though, it has to be sincere or it’s just words.
My daughter is the queen of being interested in you. Often, I will call her and my wife from work to say hello. When I talk to my daughter her first question is always, “What are you doing?” When I tell her I’m driving, she’ll follow up with even more questions.
She is always interested in what I’M doing, where I’M going. And more than that, she remembers what we talked about the last time.
Lesson: Listen. Be interested. Ask questions. I don’t think my daughter has read Dale Carnegie’s book, but she certainly understands the principle that people are most interested in talking about themselves and their interests.
Take a look at the picture of my daughter at the beginning of this post. Need I say more? Smiling is contagious. And when you see someone smiling, you can’t help but feel better.
Lesson: Smile. Be the one around the office to brighten someone else’s day. I’ll bet you’ll find that people gravitate towards you when you are handing out cheer like it’s candy!
These are just a few of the lessons I have learned from a human being who has been on this earth less time than the iPhone. I am constantly amazed at the things I learn from her every single day and the application they have in my day-to-day life. If you will apply these principles, I promise you that you will strengthen relationships with those you interact with every day. And they’re so easy, even a four-year old can do it!
Question: What have you learned from children that would make you a better person?