As I was going through the TSA checkpoint at Hartsfield International Airport, I got an opportunity to practice some principles I learned from Dale Carnegie in his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
As we waited in the crazy long line at the security check, I noticed some of the TSA agents didn’t look thrilled to be at work.
I decided to interfere with this situation and try and help some of them have a better day. As I approached the check in, I called the first guard by her name and said, “I don’t know how you do it.”
She replied, “Do what?”
I said, “Deal with all this chaos while keeping a smile on your face and not going ballistic on people.” She laughed and said it wasn’t as easy as it looked. I thanked her for her great work and moved through the line.
This is an example of Dale Carnegie six basic ways to make people like you. Here they are in a nutshell. No. 1. Be interested in people. No. 2. Smile. No. 3. Call people by their name. No. 4. Be a good listener. No. 5. Talk about things the other person is interested in. No. 6. Sincerely make the other person feel important.
When I spoke with the guard, I called her by her name, talked about something she was genuinely interested in — her job — and I let her know she was appreciated.
As I moved forward, I had another opportunity to do the same thing. My bag got flagged because I forgot to put my toiletries in a clear plastic bag. Consequently, I had to get in another line and wait for it to be examined.
There was a guy in front of me who had a semi-smug way about him. I don’t think he was trying to be rude. He had a Northern accent and sometimes people up North have a different way of interacting than we do in the South. Anyway, I could tell by the look on her face, that the TSA guard he was interacting with was not appreciative of the passenger’s demeanor.
Seeing as how I was going to be left in the wake of this interaction, I thought I’d have an opportunity to “flip the script” as I like to call it.
And by that, I mean controlling a situation where a person is already aggravated and interacting with them in such a way that the end result has you recruiting that person as a future ally and making a friend.
My approach was simple; I made light of the situation. I asked her how in the world she could stay sane dealing with all these people.
She quickly looked up, taken aback that a passenger was interested in her. We exchanged pleasantries; I got everything through the checkpoint, and she even went so far as to say, “Have a great day, Sweetie.”
Flip the script.
By taking notice of her, smiling and being interested in her, I gained a friend and had an enjoyable experience.
The principles Carnegie teaches are something every real estate investor should learn, because you find yourself having to use them to flip the script in all kinds of ways. I have had to do this with neighbors who were upset that a contractor went across their grass to turn around and with pre-foreclosure sellers who were infuriated with a bank because no one there would give them a straight answer. I’ve even used this with loss mitigation reps at the bank while trying to buy subject-to’s.
If you’ll realize their ill feelings aren’t because of you, learn how to make light of the situation, and figure out a way to help the person feel they are valued, they’ll become your ally and help you get much more done than you would think possible.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.