Dale Carnegie’s Class-Act System promotes making yourself unforgettable – the idea that “nothing is more critical to your success than your ability to stand out as a uniquely qualified, valuable, appealing individual – someone whom other people really want to work with, work for, know, and help.”
Yet, Carnegie discovered an interesting dynamic among those who successfully lead and manage, those who are looked to as decision-makers. It seems that the more powerful one becomes, the more self-doubt tends to increase, requiring constant reassurance and support from others.
Picking up on this need for more self-confidence early on in his career, Carnegie developed leadership training and instruction focused on improving personal influence and impact.
Carnegie effectively practiced what he preached. He made a hugely successful marketing move to make himself unforgettable. How? He changed the spelling of his last name from “Carnegey” to Carnegie! At the time, Andrew Carnegie (unrelated) was a widely revered and recognized name.
In 1916, just 25 years after Carnegie Hall was built (with Andrew’s money and named for him) Dale was able to rent the beautiful music hall, communicating his inspirational message to a packed house.
Communicate in a Memorable and Motivational Fashion
When Simon & Schuster published Dale’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1937, it was an immediate bestseller. By the time of Carnegie’s death, the book had sold five million copies in 31 languages, and there had been 450,000 graduates of his Dale Carnegie Institute.
Of course, like most success stories, Carnegie’s was not without what could have been perceived as failures. What sustained him was his ability to improvise; to think outside-the-box.
Following Carnegie’s lead, here are 6 Unforgettable Steps to help you improvise and improve your ability to lead, manage, and communicate more effectively.
- Engage Your Team Members. A great quote from Maya Angelou states, “People will forget what you said, people will even forget what you did. People will never forget how you made them feel.” When you ask others for their input and sincerely consider their words, you communicate that they matter. When you make people feel that their input is valued, you empower them to see themselves as a valuable part of the team. This greatly improves their level of self-confidence and giving them the freedom to respond in ways that naturally contribute to the team’s overall success.
- Develop Leaders. Discover innovative ways to encourage commitment from your team members. Support the efforts of your employees. Provide the tools they need to manage and perform with greater success. Offer effective workplace learning and training for increased productivity.
- Encourage Professionalism. Help your team to understand and project the image of maturity and integrity that aligns with your organization. Be an example of the level of credibility desired. Consistently take steps to build strong relationships within, as well outside, the workplace. This ensures that everyone gives and receives the respect they deserve.
- Impact Behavior. Become a facilitator who can help your associates to see how your organization dramatically benefits from understanding and improving workplace behavior. Demonstrate how to actively listen to others. Create an environment where employees are free to discuss issues and concerns, assured that they’ve been heard. Support open-mindedness and flexibility. Advance positive attitudes while working to better understand those negative influences affecting your group.
- Inspire Achievement. Know your team and tap into the existing skills, abilities, talents, and achievements of members. Generously give credit where credit is due. Be aware of what’s working and what’s not. Remind your team of where you were, acknowledge everyone’s efforts to get where you are, and help them to easily envision where you want to take them. Bring people together through the sharing of past successes. Eliminate stressing over the future by involving everyone in the common goal of growing, improving, and achieving.
- Influence People. There will always be those with whom you have much in common – and those with whom you have very little in common. Focus on the things you have in common and make the most of those. You’ll persuade others to hear from you, see your point of view, and enjoy being in your presence when you practice being authentic.
The 3 Don’ts and a Do
- Expect others to change – expect more from yourself.
- Pretend to understand others – ask them to help you understand what they are feeling or thinking.
- Readily find fault – seek to find reasons to genuinely praise.
Make it a habit to put others first for lasting influence in every area of your business – and your life!
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