“How To Win Friends & Influence People”

Here is another report from two our team members wrote on a book this quarter. Ben, who wrote the first summary, comes to us from the west side of the mountains where he graduated from the University of Washington and working at Harborview Medical. He is currently training to be our ATP which is the highest level of wheelchair certification you can get in our industry.  This is what he had to say about the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” which has been one of the most popular business books of the last hundred years:

                The book that I chose for my PDP this quarter was “How To Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. I figured this book would provide insight to how to gain a trusting relationship with therapists and see where I could improve. One example that the book brought about was “Principle 3” in ways to make people like you “If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.” This is something hard for me to do in most situations, because we need to show a strong front when working with customers. I had an instance where repairs I did for a facility weren’t in a timely manner. I emailed the maintenance manager stating that the delay was due to me, but I would rectify my errors and do whatever I could to show that we are a strong company that will get work done. Since that email, I have made strides to show him that I do mean what I say, and acknowledge my mistake before.

                What I enjoyed about the book was that it gave some additional areas for me to work on that I have not realized before, or reinforce traits that I need to work on. For example, one area that I need to work on is not providing direct tasks for someone to do. I tend to ask someone to do something, and it is not done I tend to get upset and push it further. This also leads to the other area that I need to work on, and that is to not over-stress from small details or events in my daily life. I will admit I am a person whom tends to overstress and that can hinder my performance or ability to lead. This book keeps reminding me to take a step back and learn to not work myself up over details.

                Finally, what I tended to not enjoy about the book. This list was small, since the information that they provided made sense. The only area that I tended to find problem with in this book was that each person is different. Granted, while no book can be 100% comprehensive and apply to any situation, some people do need that direct leadership to grow. As well, even if they did not need that direct leadership, some tend to take advantage or not understand the task that needs to be done with a compassionate leadership program. To each person, the method for leading varies. The ideal situation is that the person whom you are overseeing will understand, and step into their role with this leadership, but this isn’t always the case. This is the only complaint that I have about this book. 

Teaka oversees our HR departments.  When not at Howards, she is traveling the northwest competing in a number of different rodeos. This is what she had to say about the same book:

              Being the HR person at Howards I found for it to be important that I read something that involves communicating with people as it’s a major part of my job when working with potential hires on their application process and interviews along with team members we already have.

     What I liked about this book was all the principles that the author applies. My number one that was my favorite was remembering someone’s name. I know it makes me feel good when people I don’t really know remember my name. Being remembered means that I did something worth remembering even if that means I was just polite, struck up a conversation, or listened deeply to what they had to say.  I’m not always the best with names, but I have found now in my job position I have started to become a lot better at work and in my personal life. I might not know everyone, but I’m capable of remember a name to a face. I also really like the part of not telling someone that “they are wrong” or placing blame on them. Listen to them and their side of their story or idea. That is important, if you don’t listen and just tell them their ideas aren’t right or good enough, people start to shut down and won’t trust you.

         As I stated in the first paragraph this book is important to my position because I work with so many people. I have to be genuine and listen to people when they come to me with concerns or worries. I need to listen to them and their point of view and give honest feedback to help them. This may also be giving a different point of view for them to see as well but still acknowledging what they have to say and letting them know I am hearing and understanding them. This is helpful when team members come to me about problems they are having with team leads or team members. I listen, relate to how they feel, and then how to approach it in an appropriate way.

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