Tuesday, October 5, 2010

DC4W Retrospective

Technique Tuesday

Understanding is often likened to ascending a mountain. The trail to the summit winds through valleys where ridges obscure the goal. It's only on the summit that you can look back and understand the topographical logic of the trail.

It's time to look back on the major themes we found as we've explored Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People from the particular perspective of writers.

The first three Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
  1. Don't criticize, condemn, or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
can be summarized as, "Be kind and considerate of others."

The next section, which offers Six Ways to Make People Like You
  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a man's Name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in the terms of the other man's interest.
  6. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
illustrates at some length, the Biblical call to love our neighbors. Put another way, the empathy that comes from getting beyond yourself and looking at things from the other person's point of view gives you a tremendous advantage when dealing with people.

The final section we explored, Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  1. Avoid arguments.
  2. Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never tell someone they are wrong.
  3. If you're wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Start with questions the other person will answer yes to.
  6. Let the other person do the talking.
  7. Let the other person feel the idea is his/hers.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
  9. Sympathize with the other person.
  10. Appeal to noble motives.
  11. Dramatize your ideas.
  12. Throw down a challenge and don't talk negative when the person is absent, talk about only positive.
shows that it is far better (and far more effective) to entice than compel.

The best writing entices. It engenders empathy for and with vivid characters. And above all, it is suffused with kindness and consideration for its readers. 

What have you learned about your writing from this series?


Image: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net