Sunday, February 26, 2012

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

This is the second week in a row that I think Dale Carnegie is telling me to keep my mouth shut!  Although Principle #8 is "Talk in terms of the other person's interests," I think Mr. Carnegie is actually telling me to keep listening.  What makes the other person tick?  What are they passionate about?  These answers will lead to great conversation even though I may not do much talking at all.

This week I struck up a conversation with a new coworker, Nicole, in the office.  She is a seasonal employee who is only with our firm for tax season and I heard through the grapevine that she has started her own business.  I asked Nicole about it and her face lit up when explaining the details of her venture.  I found her line of work fascinating, too - it is a niche area that I've never even considered (marketing/PR assistance for churches).  Just like last week, our conversation was proof that when I listen, I learn.

As you know by now, these principles work wonders outside of the office, too.  This week I mustered up enough courage to take Tyler (my two-year old) to Target.  Tyler takes "active" to a new level.  I'm usually lucky if he will stay in a shopping cart for two minutes.  This week was no different.  Before I knew it, Tyler was out of the cart and looking for trouble.  He quickly found a stack of plastic Star Wars cups (12 cups to be exact).  He sat down at the end of an aisle and started lining up the cups in a row.  Then he stacked them all together again.  And so on. Instead of talking, I observed.  I saw an opportunity and I seized it!  I asked Tyler, "do you want to play with the cups in the shopping cart?"  Of course, he did!  He was interested in them! And, lo and behold, a peaceful shopping trip ensued for Tyler and Mommy!  (I also went on to buy those 12 glorious cups -- the best $12 investment I've made in a long time!).

Talk in terms of the other person's interests, yes.  But don't forget to listen and observe, too.  You may just find your life is a little more peaceful as a result.

Tyler and his cups

1 comment:

  1. Marisa, you are really becoming a master of this reverse psychology stuff! I'm also proud of the patience you exhibited with Tyler. What a great mom!
    I think this principle is also embodied in the words of St. Francis, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." I think our lives would be richer if we could consistently practice the principle. Great post...again!