Strong interpersonal skills are important in activism. Outreach is most effective when we can understand our audience and target our message and approach. Media stories and letters to the editor are more useful when we’re mindful of our audience. Animal rights groups and organizations are stronger when we can communicate effectively and when we convey our appreciation for one another. Below is a list of some strategies from Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
- Don’t criticize.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Six Ways to Make People Like You
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember a person’s name.
- 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.
Win People to Your Way of Thinking
- The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinions. 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 that 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 their nobler motives.
- Dramatize your ideas.
- Throw down a challenge.
Be a Leader
- Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
- Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
- Ask questions instead of giving orders.
- Let the other person save face.
- Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.
- Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
- Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
- Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.