How to Handle People So They Listen and Follow You

Do you want to be a better leader? Do you want to be more influential? Or perhaps, you want to simply improve your social skills? If yes, here are three important principles you need to follow so people would listen to you and follow you.

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Have you ever talked to people and they just don’t listen to you?

Have you ever tried to influence others to your way of thinking but you just utterly fail?

Did you ever wish that people would follow you when you ask them to do something?

Well, if your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you need to read this blog.

In this post, let me share with you the three principles of handling people so that they will not just listen to you, but also follow your commands.

The points discussed in this blog is based on Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Make Friends and Influence Others.” It’s a great book and I highly recommend you read it yourself. 

So, here are the 3 effective principles on how you can handle people so that they listen and follow you.

Principle no. 1: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain

Criticizing, condemning, and complaining are the three perfect ingredients for people to dislike you. 

So, how are you going to make people follow you if all you do is always point out what’s wrong, make them feel bad, and be dissatisfied with every result you get?

In the book of Dale Carnegie, he wrote:

“Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself.

Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.”

Whether you like it or not, people have a special ego they lovingly nourish inside them.

Once you hurt their ego and pride, they would automatically become defensive and would do their best to prove you wrong.

They will then resist anything you want them to do.

Remember that people can be illogical and emotional. Most of the time, people have their own versions of reality. 

Even if your argument is correct, you shouldn’t simply attack a person through criticism and condemnation.

Instead, you need to be kind and see things from the other person’s perspective.

There are certain things that you simply can’t understand unless you put yourself in the shoes of other people.

If you ever feel like you want to criticize, condemn, or complain, seek to understand.

That’s how you can become more effective in winning people on your side, persuading them to your thinking, and most importantly, convince them to follow you.

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Principle no. 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation

Appreciation and gratefulness are two powerful tools in human communication.

When you are appreciative and you are thankful for many things in your life, you get more positive and you will complain less often.

Now, here’s the key to ensuring that people will listen and follow you: you need to give honest and sincere appreciation.

Notice, your appreciation should be honest and sincere.

Why? Because you can appreciate people with flattery and mind you, you may fool people one or two times, but they will eventually see through your insincere appreciation.

Here’s something you need to remember if you want to become a man of influence: every person has a desire for a feeling of importance.

People would like to be important and when they feel important, they become less defensive.

You can use this to your advantage.

Every time you see a person, consciously look for something that you can praise and appreciate.

Be detailed as much as possible as well. Instead of simply saying, “I like your dress,” say, “I love the floral design of your dress. It perfectly matches your purse.”

You get the idea.

Most importantly, never ever flatter people. 

Sincere appreciation comes from the heart. It is not selfish. 

On the other hand, flattery is insincere.

It only comes from the mouth, but not the heart. It is selfish. Its sole purpose is to make people blindly like you.

When people see you as a sincere, kind, and courteous person, they are more likely to listen to whatever you are going to say and even follow you.

Principle no. 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want

Do you know what makes people interesting while others are boring? 

Interesting people don’t talk much about themselves.

They don’t talk much about their interest, but rather they talk about what interests their audience.

That’s right.

So, to make people want to listen to you is to first know what they want, discuss what it is, and most importantly, show them how they can get what they want.

Here, let me give you an example.

If you’re trying to convince a person they should stop smoking, you probably don’t want to talk about how it annoys you or how it makes them look bad. 

You need to talk about what they want.

For example, show them that smoking may keep them from performing better in their sports. You can tell them how it might turn off the lady they are interested in.

You see, if you frame it that way, instead of talking about what you think, you can better convince to stop smoking. 

Instead of being preachy, try to see something that they can’t achieve if they keep on smoking.

So, the next time you try to ask people to listen and follow you, the first thing you need to do is arouse in that person an eager want.

Find a way for that person to do what you are about to tell him to do. 

Once you master this technique, you can instantly become a man of influence who can persuade anyone with your words.

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These are the three principles you can use to improve your social skills and achieve more in your communication.

Antagonizing, criticizing, and condemning are never the best ways to make people follow you.

What you need to do is understand people better, give honest appreciation, and focus on their needs.

When you do these things, you will have a better way of making people listen to you and follow you.

If you need to learn more, read Dale Carnegie’s best published book, “How to Win Friends and Influence Others.”


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