Most people trying to win others to their way of thinking do too much talking themselves. Let the other people talk themselves out. They know more about their business and problems than you do. So ask them questions. Let them tell you a few things. If you disagree with them, you may be tempted to interrupt. But don’t. It is dangerous. They won’t pay attention to you while they still have a lot of ideas of their own crying for expression. So listen patiently and with an open mind. Be sincere about it. Encourage them to express their ideas fully. Allow a person to speak of the benefits and advantages, they will talk themselves out of the negatives, they will in effect convince themselves. Even our friends would much rather talk to us about their achievements than listen to us boast about ours.
La Rochefoucauld, the French philosopher, said:
“If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.”
Start to talk about yourself less and listen to your associates. They have things to boast about and are more excited about telling you about their accomplishments than about listening to your boasting. Ask them to share their joys with you, and only mention your achievements when they ask.
*Compilation taken from “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie