How to Develop Friends Faster and Become Influential

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Every few years I like to take an audit of important things I have read, and review what has really impacted my thinking. My current musing is on Dale Carnegie’s work, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I love this book because it was written almost a hundred years ago and the content seems to be more and more applicable each year that passes. I have read this book a few times over the years and it always feels like there is something still to be discovered with each new time. So this post is an extrapolation and interpretation of some of the topics and tips that Dale lays out in his book. I hope they bring you life, save you time, and I hope that you apply yourself to integrating these into your daily life. They will make you a better person and drastically improve your people skills. So here they are in no particular order.

It is important to remember not to criticize, condemn or complain.

One of my friends is a fantastic people person. Anyone who meets Chase even for a quick handshake refers to him as their friend. He makes you feel special and important when you are with him. So when I asked one of his assistants what set Chase apart, they said that in 2 years of working with him day-in day-out they had never heard him say a bad thing about another person: not even his worst enemy.

Chase was and is unconditionally positive because he chooses to be. He doesn’t complain, or criticize. So if you are catching yourself in the negative thought cycle, recognize it and redirect your thoughts towards positive things. Or if you need to, stop the thought altogether. Don’t complain about people or things, and don’t criticise the people around you. Ever.

Give honest and sincere appreciation.

I have never felt more validated in my life, than when people who I look up too encourage or validate me. When someone I have worked for, or with clearly and concisely shares their appreciation for the work that I am doing it makes me feel fantastic.  This will help you gain the respect of the people who report to you, and put you in a place of authority and encouragement to the people who are around you.

Become genuinely interested in other people.

In the book, Dale tells story after story of people who had no success doing what they were trying to do until they become genuinely interested in the people the were talking to. People tried for years to sell goods in vain, until they took interest in the individual they were selling to. At that point, because the person knew they cared and because they felt validated, they were open to the relationship or pitch. Not only is there an advantage from a sales perspective, but if you just want to build rapport and be a more likable person, there is not an easier way than being genuinely interested in people. This is also a great cure for social anxiety; ask really good questions while you are in conversation and people won’t be focused on you at all.

Smile.

Seems pretty simple. And I daily have to remind myself to smile. Smile at my wife, smile at the grocery store clerk. Smile at my clients. Smile at my daughter. Not only does it move the internal needle on my mood, but it cheers the people around me up.

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

This seems simple but it really isn’t. There are lots of tips and tricks you can find on the internet for how to remember people's’ names so I will spare you the time. But the important thing is that you make a concerted effort to value people by remember their names. Take notes, practice reciting their names and things you know about them, and do anything that it takes to remember their name. Then proudly call them by name each time that you see them and watch for the change in their mood.

All of these things seem like basic tips, but if you try and apply them to your life you will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Trust me. I see people each and every day who are actively applying these things to their lives and reaping the benefits. So make a change. Be kind. And encourage people!


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Meet our Clinician and Co-Founder, Drew Konzelman, M.A., LMHCA.

Drew loves adventures and he loves stories. That's one reason he is so passionate about the work he gets to do at Novo Life. Drew specializes in working with people who want to unlock more functional and creative potential within themselves. Issues that get in the way are commonly Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD. He also specializes in LENS Neurofeedback, a revolutionary treatment that improves brain function and reduces a myriad of symptoms in clients.

When he isn’t in the office, he is taking his wife and daughter on adventures around the world. He is passionate about the written Word, surfing, entrepreneurship. If you want to learn more about Drew, or figure out what is holding you back from reaching your full potential, don’t hesitate to connect with Drew, he would love to hear from you!