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John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”

If leadership is influence, how does one influence? 

One of the best books for teaching practical influence is Dale Carnegie’s, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  This book provides the reader practical principles that lead to the efficient influencing of others.

I have read this book at least five times and use the information daily to increase my influence and validate my perspective on how I influence others. I wanted to share my version of Dale’s principles.

My principles for influence are:

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain – Instead, try to understand their position and what is causing you to criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation – Freely praise, recognize and appreciate the efforts, and accomplishments of others. People cherish your words and will keep them over a lifetime!
  3. Become genuinely interested in other people – If you want others to respect you, help you help yourself, and partner with you to achieve success, make this principle a part of your character.
  4. Smile – We send messages through our facial expressions. Smiling brightens the lives of all who see it.
  5. What’s in a Name? – Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Approaching any situation using a person’s name will reduce negativity, increase your influence and add validity to the words you say.
  6. Be a good listener – Encourage others to talk about themselves. Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are about you and your problems.
  7. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest – Talking in terms of the other person’s interest keeps them engaged and pays off for both parties.
  8. Make the other person feel important, and be sincere – Talk to people about themselves, and they will listen for hours.
  9. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it – All arguments do is show the arrogance in your pride and a lack of humility.
  10. Show respect for the other person’s opinion – Never say “you’re wrong.” Instead, use diplomacy.
  11. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically – Remember the old proverb, “by fighting you never get enough, but by yielding, you get more than you expected.”
  12. Begin in a friendly way – Remember what Lincoln said: “A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.”Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
  13. Who cares where the idea came from – Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers. Influence is achieved by teamwork, not arrogance.influence others
  14. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view – An increased tendency to always think regarding the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own.
  15. Challenge the Person -Every successful person wants a chance of self-expression, the opportunity to prove one’s worth.
  16. Begin with praise and honest appreciation – The first 30 seconds of any conversation should include praise, gratitude or thankfulness or general good will. Open every email or correspondence with the same thoughts.
  17. Call attention to peoples mistakes indirectly – Learn how to point out errors and opportunities for improvement by encouraging the person, rather than discouraging them. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  18. Ask questions, instead of giving direct orders – Information informs, questions transform! All direct orders do is create resistance between the giver and receiver.
  19. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to – Help the other person to succeed. Be aware of their faults and coach them to success.

Apply these 20 principles and begin to see your influence increase and your leadership of others grow.


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