Book Review: People Smart 2

Book Review: People Smart 2

Well done - Recognition

How to Make People Feel Important

This is my review on the second chapter of the book: “How to be People Smart”, People Smart 2. Unlike with People Smart 1, I first read through this chapter before doing this review, and I found this chapter to be very interesting and helpful. One overall thought about the book, is that it is as promised at the beginning, a straight-forward “How-to”.

The strongest trait in human beings is the desire for self-preservation. The next strongest trait is the desire to be important. The more important you make people feel, the more they will  like you and respond to you.

The Hawthorne Experiments

These experiments were done by adding an incentive to a group of workers. They noticed that as they added incentive after incentive, production would rise. Then, oddly even when they started removing the incentives one by one, production continued to rise. At the end, they had gone all the way back to how it was initially, but production had risen to its highest ever point!

The final analysis pointed out that the trigger to a rise in production was making people feel important.

6 Things to make people feel important

Skillfully listen

This is about listening to understand and respond, instead of listening to reply. You are letting the person know that you respect them, and that their opinion matters. This flatters the other person, increases their self-esteem, and increases their opinion of you and then because of this, they respond better to you.

Applaud and compliment

People love to be acknowledged, appreciated, and receive recognition. There are two main additional points made here. Firstly, that people respond better to those who applaud and compliment them. Secondly, it is rare in society today for people to pay a compliment, or applaud people for something. It isn’t because people aren’t deserving of it,¬† but rather that people just don’t do it much.

“Experts who want something will first pay a sincere compliment and then make their request. It works every time! That is really People Smart.

This quote from the book reminded me of situations where people get a compliment from someone who doesn’t normally give them. The immediate reaction is that of distrust, and the person receiving the compliment would usually ask: “What do you want from me?”…almost in anticipation of an assumed and definite follow up request. I guess the trick is to be sincere, but also to make it a habit, so people are used to you paying compliments.

Use people’s names

Connect with people by using their name in the conversation you are having with them. People want to be treated as individuals and not part of a group. Using their name makes them feel important and special.

Pause slightly before answering

By pausing before answering, you are increasing the other persons self-esteem because you give them the impression that their question was intelligent, and that you have to carefully think about it in order to answer.

If you answer immediately, you are actually doing the opposite, because it seems firstly as you didn’t have to (or want to) think much about what they asked, but also that you had prepared the answer long before they even finished their point or question.

Acknowledge people who are waiting to see or hear from you

A habit I started recently was to not answer peoples messages until I was ready to read, analyze and respond to the message. I was trying to be more efficient as most of the messages end up being things that are not important to me, nor even urgent to the other person. I started subscribing to ideas such as: “Don’t make your emergencies mine” and “How can you expect me to treat this as an emergency when to you it isn’t even important?”. Again, it was about efficiency, and ensuring that urgent matters are attended to first, and then “2nd quadrant” (7 Habits) items are addressed.

If the objective is to make the other person feel important on the other hand, you need to acknowledge peoples message as soon as possible. When receiving a message, immediately respond with a message that you will give it attention as soon as you can, and if possible give an indication of when that will be, and honor that time-frame. This lets people know that you take them seriously and value their message. It makes people feel important.

On a website, designers will often set up a contact form, and then after sending the message, an auto-responder would send an email back to say that you acknowledge the email, and will reply within a given time-frame. Unfortunately, there is still the possibility that you will not be able to honor that time-frame, after all, it is an automated process until you do reply. But at least it keeps the conversation going, and if done skillfully, lets say by adding some useful information in that auto-reply such as a link to your Frequently Asked Questions page or a Glossary of terms, or even a playlist of videos and tutorials on YouTube that may actually address their question until you get around to answering, you provide more value and leverage technology to make that person feel important.

When receiving a voicemail message, replying with a text message with a personalized SMS or Instant Messenger reply would provide that same value.

Talk to them about them

This comes straight through from the previous chapter, and perhaps signals just how important it really is. Talk to people about what they are interested in, and to do that, you first have to ask probing questions to find out what it is that they are interested in. Using words like “you” and “yourself” just keeps the focus and attention on the other person, letting them know that you value them and what they have to offer.

A few days of practice and thoughts

Day 1: 29 November 2018

Coming Soon…

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