Always Make the People in Your Life Feel Important

April 27, 2014

ID-10075611Dale Carnegie knew the importance of sincerely making those around you feel important. In his book How to Develop Self Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking, he tells the following story of Donald M. McMahon, who was superintendent of Lewis and Valentine, nurserymen and landscape architects in Rye, New York:

Shortly after attending a talk on “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” McMahon was landscaping the estate of a famous judge. The owner came out to give him a few instructions about where he wished to plant a mass of rhododendrons and azaleas.

McMahon said, “Judge, you have a lovely hobby. I’ve been admiring your beautiful dogs. I understand you win a lot of blue ribbons every year at the show in Madison Square Garden.”

The effect of this little expression of appreciation was striking to the judge, who replied, “Yes, I do have a lot of fun with my dogs. Would you like to see my kennel?”

The judge spent almost an hour showing McMahon his dogs and the prizes they had won. He even brought out their pedigrees and explained about the bloodlines responsible for such beauty and intelligence. Finally, he turned to McMahon and said, “Do you have any small children?”

McMahon replied that he did, indeed, have a son.

The judge said, “Well, wouldn’t he like a puppy?”

McMahon indicated that his son would be tickled pink and the judge proceeded to give him one of his puppies—worth several hundred dollars—to take home to the boy.

The judge told McMahon how to feed the puppy, even going to the trouble of typing out the pedigree and feeding instructions. In all, he had given McMahon over an hour of his valuable time largely because McMahon had expressed his honest admiration for the judge’s hobby and achievements.

Remember when dealing with people—if you talk about yourself it will be a short conversation; but if you talk to people about themselves they will listen for hours. Always make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.

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