NEW YORK – Want to win friends and influence people? Here are 7 things that ensure you won’t:
1. You thoughtlessly waste other peoples’ time.
Every time you’re late to an appointment or meeting says your time is more important. You says you’re in your own little world–and your world is the only world that matters.
Small, irritating things, but basically no big deal? Wrong. People who don’t notice the small ways they inconvenience others tend to be oblivious when they do it in a major way.
How you treat people when it doesn’t really matter–especially when you’re a leader–says everything about you. Act like the people around you have more urgent needs than yours and you will never go wrong–and you will definitely be liked.
2. You ignore people outside your “level.”
We all do it. When we visit a company, we talk to the people we’re supposed to talk to. When we attend a civic event, we talk to the people we’re supposed to talk to. We breeze right by the technicians and talk to the guy who booked us to speak, even though the techs are the ones who make us look and sound good onstage.
Here’s an easy rule of thumb: Nod whenever you make eye contact. Just act like people exist.
We’ll automatically like you for it–and remember you as someone who engages even when there’s nothing in it for you.
3. You ask for too much.
A guy you don’t know asks you for a favor; a big, time-consuming favor. You politely decline. He asks again. You decline again. Then he whips out the Need Card. “But it’s really important to me. You have to. I really need [it].”
Maybe you do, in fact, really need [it]. But your needs are your problem. The world doesn’t owe you anything. You aren’t entitled to advice or mentoring or success. The only thing you’re entitled to is what you earn.
People tend to help people who first help themselves. People tend to help people who first help them. And people definitely befriend people who look out for other people first, because we all want more of those people in our lives.
4. You ignore people in genuine need.
At the same time, some people aren’t in a position to help themselves. They need a hand: a few dollars, some decent food, a warm coat.
Though we don’t necessarily believe in karma, we do believe good things always come back to you, in the form of feeling good about yourself.
And that’s reason enough to help people who find themselves on the downside of advantage.
5. You ask a question so you can talk.
Don’t shoehorn in your opinions under false pretenses. Only ask a question if you genuinely want to know the answer. And when you do speak again, ask a follow-up question that helps you better understand the other person’s point of view.
People like people who are genuinely interested in them–not in themselves.
6. You pull a “Do you know who I am?”
OK, so maybe they don’t take it to the Barack Obama level, but many people whip out some form of the “I’m Too Important forThis” card.
Say you really are somebody. People always like you better when you don’t act like you know you’re somebody–or that you think it entitles you to different treatment.
7. You push your opinions.
You know things. Cool things. Great things. Awesome. But only share them in the right settings. If you’re a mentor, share away. If you’re a coach or a leader, share away. If you’re the guy who just started a paleo diet, don’t tell us all what to order.
Unless we ask. What’s right for you may not be right for others; shoot, it might not even turn out to be right for you.