What do the greatest change agents for good in history such as Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. have in common? They all worked through peace and love to make a difference. I am reminded of what Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” When we care enough about each other to treat all people with respect and kindness, we are more influential. When we can influence people, we can lead them and when we can lead them, we can affect change. So, what are some commonsense principles that don’t seem to be common practice in today’s world that could help us?
Here are 21 human relations principles to help us make a difference and become a change agent for good from the book How to Win Friends and Influence People:
- Don’t Criticize, condemn or complain.
- Give honest, sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
- The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinion. Never say, “you’re wrong.”
- If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
- Begin in a friendly way.
- Get the other person saying, “yes, yes” immediately.
- Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
- Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
- Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
- Appeal to the nobler motives.
- Dramatize your ideas.
- Throw down a challenge.
When we take the time to live the principles that have helped the great leaders of the past successfully influence change, we can make a difference. If you want to leave this world a better place, then be a change agent for good and let your actions speak louder than your words.