The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons, Napoleon Hill’s 1,600+ page first draft published prior to Think and Grow Rich, contains a lot of useful information that can help business builders realise their potential. In this series, Joshua Moore covers each of Hill’s attributes in a practical way.
Today, he discusses the value of improving your character and listening to others. Also in this series:
- Lesson #1: The Master Mind
- Lesson #2: A Definite Chief Aim
- Lesson #3: Self Confidence
- Lesson #4: The Habit of Saving
- Lesson #5: Initiative and Leadership
- Lesson #6: Imagination
- Lesson #7: Enthusiasm
- Lesson #8: Self Control
- Lesson #9: Working Hard
Me, me, me is dull, dull, dull
People tend to make initial impressions about us based on how we look or dress, the way we walk, our facial expressions, how we shake hands, and more.
While these impressions are important, our character has a more lasting effect and can reap greater dividends.
“Me, me, me is dull, dull, dull.”
That’s not a quote from Napoleon Hill, but it’s still a great way to sum up his chapter on developing a pleasing personality.
Many of us have heard this statement, or something like it, but failed to realise its importance.
The statement does not mean you eliminate speaking about yourself. The emphasis isn’t even on you. Instead, it suggests you put effort into taking an interest in what other people do — their passions, beliefs, interests, etc.
By understanding others’ interests we can bridge the gap between ourselves and begin to re-frame our products and services to show how they help these people in their reality.
The more we take an interest in people, the better rapport we can build. John C. Maxwell, author of “Winning with People,” has an interesting idea that he calls the 101% Principle. Essentially, we connect with people when we find the 1% we agree on and give it 100% of our attention.
Who’s on first?
I have found this to be a key ingredient when building rapport with people. Some ways that I have found connections include:
- Sport (or, in my case, the dislike of sport)
- Places, events, people and locations
The key is to find the one thing you have a similarity in and then find a way to relate your other experiences, products or services back to that one thing. What you have in common will differ with each person, of course.
Seven ways to improve your personality
Hill summarises his chapter by suggesting seven things people can do to improve their personality:
- Become genuinely interested in other people. Find good qualities about them and make it your interest to praise them. (Leela Cosgrove wrote about this for Anthill in her surprising article, What taking home a hooker taught me about my business.)
- Speak with force and conviction, using tone and pace to improve your delivery. Develop this ability for both personal and public speaking.
- Find clothes that fit your physique and match your chosen occupation. In other words, dress well.
- Develop a positive character (see things from a positive viewpoint, not negatively). The glass is always half full, right?
- Learn to shake hands in a way that reflects warmth and enthusiasm. I would add learning how to master your body language.
- Attract others by “attracting yourself” to them (find common ground, listen effectively, etc.).
- Acknowledge your main limitations are the ones you set up in your own mind (you can change your results if you commit to it).
Most of us can find a way to improve continuously in one or all of these areas. Doing so will help us to develop a more pleasing personality, which will in time help to ensure we reap the success we deserve.
- Look at the list of Hill’s suggestions. How can you improve yourself in one of these areas over the coming days, weeks and months?
- Commit to developing one of these areas, then move on to the next.
- Continue to take a genuine interest in people, and help them in any way you can without harming yourself.
Joshua Moore is a business consultant dedicated to helping people tap their mind and reach their potential in life.