Thursday, 15 March 2012

Midweek Update: How to repair a laptop, how to remember names, how to

Happy Thursday!

Some of you have seen this already, but this week I replaced my laptop screen.  Not to let the experience be wasted, I made a video tutorial on how to do it.  Like a boss.

It's actually a fairly easy repair job. I was surprised. At first I was thinking that I would have to replace the laptop, and I wasn't pleased about that.  But I asked around in tech forums and was able to isolate the problem.  If it had been on the graphics card that would have been a lot worse, because a graphics card is built into the motherboard.  

The Carnegie Project update

As many of you know, I'm reading through Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, one chapter per week, and writing my reflections on it.  Thanks for following along.

One thing I really appreciate about this book, is that the chapters are simply stories from people's lives, short anecdotes about how the principle applies.  It's a light read.

Previous Principles

Part A: Fundamental techniques in handling people

1. Don't criticize, condemn or complain

2. Give honest and sincere appreciation

3. Frame things in terms of what other people want

Part B: Six ways to make people like you

4. Become genuinely interested in other people

6. Remember people's names

My wife, Sherri, runs an English as a second language meetup group every second Tuesday called That's Life. This week she asked me to help because she needed some native English speakers to be there.  So I had an opportunity to practice remembering names all right.  What I did was when people introduced themselves I would repeat their name back to them a few times, then go around the group and repeat everyone's name again, then use their name when addressing them for the first few minutes.  That worked surprisingly well, and I still remember the names of everyone in my group, even though some of them were names I had never heard before.

This week's principle

7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves

General idea:  
  • Most people want to be really, seriously listened to 
  • Most people want to talk about themselves
  • If you want to be seen as a good conversationalist, encourage people to talk about themselves and their experiences and really listen to them.
Makes sense.  Everyone in the world is clamouring for people to care about them, to listen to them, to be sympathetic to their plights and to be happy about their successes.  So if you make an effort to listen and care about others' lives, they will see you in a positive light.

Give this little guy a voice chip that says "uh huh" every so often
and he would be an amazing conversationalist
I think this is pretty straightforward.  Everyone knows people who talk about nothing but themselves and it is draining to talk to them.  So try not to be like that.

I'm noticing that a lot of these principles are just practical applications of the idea that people have a need to feel important.  It's funny, I grew up with a lot of encouragement to be empathetic, to think of others before yourself, and this is similar, but I'm not used to having it framed as "everyone needs to feel important". I'm more used to thinking that we shouldn't inflate our own importance and therefore shouldn't need to feel important.  It's interesting approaching empathy from a different angle. Feeling important is a basic human need, and if you help people meet that need, you become important to them.


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