Thursday, 5 April 2012

Midweek Update: No I haven't forgotten the blog

Hello all my faithful readers,

I haven't forgotten my blog, I've just been doing final projects, and the blogging has taken a back seat.

I got this

I will return to telling you of my adventures before too long, don't worry.  For now I'll just give you a hint.

I learned about win-win negotiations last weekend.  I'll tell you more about that soon. For now, just know that the key takeaway was to focus on people's interests instead of their positions.

Today I learned to read Korean because I was procrastinating.


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

8. - Talk in terms of the other person's interests.

9. - Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely

So like I said we had a negotiation seminar last week and I was one of the organizers.  The speaker had amazing material and was practically donating his time and his exceptionally valuable knowledge, and we were really grateful.  We had also learned from running these events in the past that it's important to make the speaker feel really valued, because he was really valuable and important.

So we took him to lunch with the organizing team, paid for it, got him a bottle of wine as a thank you... it's the little things.  He wasn't expecting all that and I think he really appreciated it. I think and hope that making him feel like he was important to us paved the way for him coming back next year.

This week's principle

On to part C - How to win people to your way of thinking

10. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it


General idea:  
  • A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still 
  • If you lose an argument, you lose... But if you win an argument, you still lose
  •  It's generally not worth arguing with someone.

This one runs counter to the way I've grown up.  Now, I'm sure there is a time and place and purpose for  arguments, however, this is just one instance in an increasing body of literature I've encountered that suggests that arguing is not effective for convincing people of something.

I suppose that if you're in an argument with person X, and the argument is public, the argument may be good for convincing the crowd around you that you are right, but it will only entrench person X in his position. Hence politics.

It reminds me of an article I read recently that said similarly, that facts do not convince people of truth, and that psychologically, people don't present facts, argument, or anything like that to others for the purpose of revealing truth. They do it to establish dominance over the other person.  Since reading that I've found myself taking a whole different view on how I approach disagreements.

It's also related to the negotiation seminar I took. People state positions in arguments.  I'm for this or against that.  But really, what are their interests? Pride? Dominance in the conversation? Getting approval from you? Learning to see discourse this way takes some getting used to.

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