Today, I’d like to share a simple, yet powerful idea with you from the 1936 classic book; How to win friends and influence people.
The book’s author, Dale Carnegie, said; ‘Show respect for the other person’s opinion. Never say, “you’re wrong!” to them.’
You’re right and they may be too!
If we fully believe that our opinion is correct, we need to be mindful that it is still just an opinion. Our view. It’s possible that both their opinion and our own is correct, even when we see things differently.
For example: I dislike the taste of almonds, so my opinion is that they taste horrible. You may love the taste of almonds, so have the opinion that they taste delicious. If we sat a lie detector test, we’d both be proven to be telling the truth – yet our answers would have been completely different. We would both be right.
That’s the thing about opinions. There can be many different, yet equally valid opinions on the same subject.
Winning the argument or winning the client?
I often see small business owners arguing with their customers, clients and contacts; insisting they are right and the other person is wrong. They insist on winning the argument (imposing their opinion as the only valid one) rather than winning the client. That mindset is toxic to our business and toxic to our minds, creating stress and bad feeling.
It’s also completely unnecessary.
We simply need to respect what others have to say, then if necessary, explain how we see the situation and welcome their feedback. I have learned a great deal from using this approach over the years. Interestingly, it’s also far more effective at helping others see things your way, than attacking their opinion and arguing with them.
Respect never gets old
The technologies we use today are very different from those, which were used when Carnegie wrote that amazing book. However, business is still all about people. Showing respect for others and their opinions, is just as important today as it was in 1936. In fact, I believe it’s even more important today, now that we connect with so many more people, thanks to social media and social networks.