How to make people want to do things you say

Audio version available: 

My first experience with leadership was when I became the student council president. Which meant I had to coordinate with people and even give them orders. That is how I learned how to effectively manage people. Since I had no prior experience, I decided to learn through trial and error and see what worked for me. 

The first approach was to try being serious and giving them orders. I tried being a scary and assertive leader that had a “do whatever I say” attitude. It worked for a while but ended up getting me several warnings and arousing resentment, meaning I was not liked by my fellow colleagues. 

So, I developed a new approach. Since people don’t really like receiving orders and being bossed around, I tried asking them questions. Basically, if I had to say “we will do this” I would rephrase that to “Do you think doing this is good”. This benefited me in two ways. 1) I was able to receive their input, which was helpful in most cases and 2) Guide them through questions. 

This approach was way better and beneficial. It was mutually beneficial and constructive. My approval rate also increased and I gained the respect and admiration of other students through my leadership practices. While I still made my fair share of mistakes, I remained confident in my ability and learned through trial and error. 

Authors Note

We wish our readers don’t just simply read this story but rather also reflect on the lessons mentioned. See if you can implement any of the lessons taught in your life.

Book: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (Purchase book on Amazon)

Lesson(s)

  • Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

Notice: All of the content above is fictional. 

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