This weekend on a road trip to a cheer competition for my youngest daughter we decided to listen to “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It had been a long time and my husband always asks me if I have listened to it lately when I am faced with how to handle situations with people. We are all in people businesses and it’s a challenge sometimes, not just for me but for everyone otherwise we wouldn’t need books like these right?
We started out in the car, me in the backseat, with a hot curler and my daughter half asleep. We were all tired but turned on the audiobook and started our route. It was an early morning but much was required so we got to work. I curled and listened which is not uncommon. I have become the ultimate multi-tasker. We raced through a drive through for breakfast, changed in the car and made it in time to do makeup and roll-call by 8am. All the time, we still listened together as a family on how to win friends and influence people.
We finished the competition with 3rd place and away we went to our next destination and then to the next. We finished our day driving back home (I was driving) and still listening to the book. As we pulled into the drive way and to my surprise, my daughter asked that we keep listening. So we did. I thought it very interesting that she wanted to continue listening but honestly this man is a wonderful story teller.
My whole family listened together on how to be better people. Rarely do we take the time to do this and I am not holding us up as the poster family. We struggle in so many ways on how to treat each other let alone strangers. We forget that we are dealing with people, human beings with feelings and emotions.
My take away from this book was really something that we all know. We are supposed to show compassion and real care for others. The best companies’ put themselves in their customer’s shoes and try to either fulfill a dream or sooth a pain. Either way, you have more influence when you put on the shoes of your customers and see it from their perspective.
How do you know if you’re meeting the needs? Ask. You will get the feedback either way but you can be much more proactive if you are doing the asking first. You also gain the appreciation and respect of your customer by showing that you care.
We have made some major changes to our business based upon the needs of our customer. Our customers dislike surprises so we did everything we could to minimize those surprises. Are we perfect? Absolutely not and definitely will not be right for everyone, but for those who want a relationship with us we will continue to work hard to listen to you, find your pain and help to relieve it because that is what humans do. Our customers see our heart.
Now, go and smile. Talk to your friends and family without your phone in your hand and listen to what they are really saying because that is what humans do. Your biggest assets are that you are human and are multi-faceted. Your family, friends and customers all benefit from your humanness and your heart endears them to you. Be human. Show your heart. Listen. That’s how you win a friend!