Often, I’ll get asked which books I suggestfor social media. Sometimes I’ll quip, “[Besides Now Is Gone,] How to Win Friends and Influence People.” But in reality, while it’s something of a joke, but also a pretty serious recommendation (Image: Happy by kkoshy).
Dale Carnegie’s principles have stood the test of time because they are about fostering better relations amongst people. And the classic mistake with social media is to treat it like a mass communications vehicle, when it’s a conversational form that builds relationships. Social media is about a larger community and its concerns, as opposed to a litany of messages. There is no better set of guidelines for this then “Friends.”
For the United Way’s Staff Leaders Conference, Meg Keaney and I presented best practices for tactical social networking. We decided to embed and apply Dale Carnegie’s principles in the larger presentation (available here) to the three main social networks in the workplace: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. We walked our participants through these suggestions online.
The exercise was actually pretty challenging, and it forced me to consider a lot of my actions on and offline and how I’ve strayed since I last read “Friends.” Here’s what we discussed:
Become a Friendlier Person
1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most
important sound in any language.
7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
9. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
Actions to Be Friendlier on Facebook
Actions to Be Friendlier on LinkedIn
Actions to Be Friendlier on Twitter
Win People to Your Way of Thinking
10.The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
11.Show respect for the other person’s opinion. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
12.If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
13.Begin in a friendly way.
14.Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
15.Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
16.Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
17.Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
18.Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
19.Appeal to the nobler motives.
20.Dramatize your ideas.
21.Throw down a challenge.
Actions to Win: LinkedIn & Facebook
Actions to Win on Twitter
Be a Leader
22.Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
23.Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
24.Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
25.Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
26.Let the other person save face.
27.Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your
approbation and lavish in your praise.”
28.Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
29.Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
30.Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.
Actions to Lead (Across All Social Networks)
Certainly, we just scratched the surface on Carnegie’s principles and how they apply. What would you add?