Have you heard of the famous book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie? It is a fabulous book jam packed with lessons. It divulges the secrets of understanding people and gaining influence. However, it’s somewhat hard to directly apply this advice to our post grad entry level jobs. Don’t you feel like you have little influence as it is? I know I do sometimes. Why would anyone be influenced by the recent graduate? Hopefully we can change that!
Each lesson of the book, I am breaking down so that it is applicable to our lives as new graduates. Hopefully this will be a guide if you choose to read the book, or at the very least some helpful tips to help you gain success in your aspirations.
So let’s start with the first chapter…
Fundamental Techniques in Handling People:
Chapter One – “If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive”
I admit, I am quick to point out the flaws of others. If not out loud, then definitely in the back of my mind. Yet, when do I ever take the time to criticize my actions? Honest Answer: Rarely
On the other hand, many times as a new hire, you may constantly feel your flaws being pointed out by others. (Even if their intention is to help) Does if make you change my actions? Of course. Are you happy to do so? Not so much.
Let me suggest this hint that I wish I knew earlier.
No Matter What Criticism You Receive, Take It As An Opportunity. Don’t instantly go on the the defensive about it, but think further. Is this an opportunity to improve? Sometimes we can be our biggest critics, yet other times we don’t see a situation as others might. Criticism is all about perspective. It doesn’t necessarily mean one person is right or wrong in the judgement, just that there are two different viewpoints. Why not try to see a situation from a new perspective?
Easier said then done, trust me… I know.
Here are a few quotes from the book that we can take away regarding these lessons:
I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting… (John Wanamaker)
Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment. (Dale Carnegie)
Do you know someone you would like to change, regulate and improve? Good! That is fine. I am all in favor of it. But why not begin on yourself? (Dale Carnegie)
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving. (Dale Carnegie)
Next time you are criticized at work, don’t instantly go on the defensive. Set a new example for yourself and peers and don’t be so fast to criticize others. It might result in fewer criticisms in return.