Tag Archives: How to Win Friends & Influence People

Everything I Know About Social Media Etiquette, I Learned from Dale Carnegie


Civility, social grace and common courtesy… shouldn’t rules of etiquette in the real world simply carry over to the virtual realm? Why do some people think that hiding behind an online profile excuses them from rude, crude behavior?

Manners matter. As Will Cuppy says, “Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely necessary.” Here are nine lessons I learned from Dale Carnegie that guides my social media interactions.

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain

Dont-criticize-condemn-or-complain | TheSociaholic.comA survey conducted by Real Simple Magazine indicates that chronic complaining is the second most annoying kind of social media post, preceded only by vague posts. Negative attitudes are more virulent than positive ones. And while criticizing others might make you feel better, it’s often an exercise in futility because it simply puts others on the defensive. Then the cycle repeats.

Mena Trott, Time Magazine’s 2006 Person of the Year once said, “If you aren’t going to say something directly to someone’s face, than don’t use online as an opportunity to say it. It is this sense of bravery that people get when they are anonymous that gives the blogosphere a bad reputation.” Keep in mind that anything you post on the web becomes public domain.

On that note, check out these 13 posts that got people fired from their jobs.

Give-Honest-Sincere-Appreciation - TheSociaholic.com2. Give honest, sincere appreciation

Williams James says that “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” Satisfy this hunger with a small gesture – reply back or post a comment.

Don’t have time to scribble something in 140 characters or less? Hit the “LIKE” button. Retweet. Share. Simple actions that cost nothing and take no time at all, but show sincere appreciation.

3. Arouse in the other person an eager want

Charles Schwab, chosen by Andrew Carnegie to run the U.S. Steel Company in 1921, was the first person to be paid a salary of over a million dollars a year. He was hand-picked by Carnegie because of his ability to arouse enthusiasm in others. What do people want? To survive. To be safe. To belong. To be recognized. To achieve. And sometimes, simply to be entertained. The only radio station playing in other people’s heads is WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), so keep this in mind when crafting posts.

4. Become genuinely interested in other people

For me, online networks are for connecting with people, for supplementing real-world interactions, fueling conversations, and forging new relationships. Thus, I don’t find it critical to accept every “friend” or “connection” request; neither do I feel compelled to auto-follow everyone that follows me. I’m a human being with limited time and energy. I don’t want to have to fake interest. That way, I can focus my attention on people and issues I truly care about.

5. Smile

A smile a day keeps the pain and the doctor away

Need I say more? 🙂

6.  Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Remember-their-name | TheSociaholic.com

I hate to admit it, but one of my favorite morning activities is checking the Connect tab on Twitter and the Notifications button on Facebook. Everyday, it’s like opening a present – I eagerly dive in to discover who has replied, commented or mentioned me overnight.

Responding to a comment or a post? Put in the extra effort and tag the other person’s name so that they become aware of the interaction. Posting photos from an event? Tag the images of those in it. People love seeing photos of themselves. As with anything, tag with caution and care (lest the tags cause embarrassment for your family and friends, or are completely unwelcome – refer to Principle 9).

7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Be-a-good-listener | TheSociaholic.comWhat’s the difference between a gossip, a bore, and a brilliant conversationalist? A gossip talks about others, a bore talks about himself, a brilliant conversationalist lets you do most of the talking. Building an online relationship isn’t a one way street. Reading and responding to other people’s posts is simply good manners.

When posting, keep in mind that that the world wide web isn’t your big wide billboard. It’s not just about broadcasting and self-promotion, but rather engaging others in conversation.

8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests

As people peruse the web, they are looking for posts, blogs and articles that will make them be better, feel better or do things better. Commandments #2, #3, #4, #6 and #9 in the PC World article “10 Commandments of Social Media Etiquette” all allude to this principle. As the author, JP Raphael notes, “Social media is not a private diary. If you’re going to share something with your friends, make it something they’ll actually understand.” And may I add, enjoy.

9. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely

Give-Sincere-Appreciation | TheSociaholic.comThere is nothing worse than getting tagged on event posters, promotional posts, or random crap that has absolutely nothing to do with you. After falling victim to this several times, I updated my privacy settings and de-activated automatic tags and posts to my Facebook Timeline. Yes, I enjoy being tagged, but only if it has something to do with me. I assume that other people feel the same way. Rather, I try to be “lavish in my approbation and hearty in my praise,” by freely acknowledging and sincerely complementing posts that make me pause, think, feel good, and most of all, laugh.

One of the ways to do this on Twitter is to acknowledge people you are following by adding them to descriptive lists. For example, I have a list called “Rockstar Entrepreneurs” consisting of men and women who have changed the world with their visions and ideas along with Digital Divas, women who rule the social media-sphere.

The Bottom Line

Sincere appreciation goes a long way. Dale Carnegie says “it is the legal tender that all souls enjoy.” Online and otherwise, a good lesson to learn is that proper etiquette and being “liked” has less to do with being likeable, but rather with genuinely “liking” others. Pass it on.

The X Factor


Derick MacabentaLast week, my nephew Derick joined the ranks of the estimated 1.78 million students that graduated from college in the U.S. If there’s one piece of advice I could give him now, along with the rest of the class of 2012, it would be this: the most valuable lesson you’ll need to become successful was NOT part of your college curriculum.

Back in 1984, Mark McCormack, founder of International Management Group (IMG) and touted by Sports Illustrated Magazine as “The Most Powerful Man in Sport”, authored What they don’t teach at Harvard Business School. McCormack himself is well-educated – a graduate of Yale Law School – as well as a frequent lecturer at Stanford and Duke. But he is the first to admit that “what they don’t teach you [in business school] is what they can’t teach you.”

Without a doubt, education and training contribute to one’s success. But raw knowledge is useless unless put to practical use. McCormack calls it street smarts, “the ability to make active positive use of your instincts, insights and perceptions.” Some refer to it as “soft skills,” a nebulous set of attributes that you either have or you don’t. Period.

I dub it the X Factor, an amalgam of positive attitude, people skills, and extraordinary flexibility.

Don’t Ever Tell Me You Can’t
When Celia Ruiz-Tomlinson moved to the U.S.in 1968, she had $300 in her pocket and a degree in Civil Engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila. Although she grew up in impoverished conditions, living in a 10×10 fish market stall that doubled as the family’s home, she managed to rise from abject poverty, overcoming one roadblock after another in pursuit of her dream. She is now President and CEO of Rhombus, PA, a successful civil engineering consulting firm in New Mexico. In 2002, she received the Asian Women in Business Entrepreneurial Leadership National Award, and in 2004, was recognized for her entrepreneurial acumen at the Filipinas Magazine Achievement Awards. She wrote a book about her exploits, aptly entitled Don’t Ever Tell Me You Can’t.

Positive attitude – the belief that no matter what, things can be done – is so critical that it is the first item on the checklist for AirForce Survival Training and Military Bootcamp. Laurence Gonzales, author of Deep Survival and contributing editor for National Geographic, says that in a crisis situation, Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is the biggest determining factor for who survives and who dies. Perhaps Mahatma Gandhi put it best. He says that, “If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it, even if I did not have the ability in the beginning.”

Win Friends and Influence People
There’s an often quoted story of a young woman who dined with William Gladstone one evening, and with Benjamin Disraeli the next. They were prominent British statesmen of the 19th century, both serving as Prime Ministers at one point. They were also bitter rivals. Asked her impression of these two powerful men, the young woman replied, “After sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man inEngland. But after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman inEngland.”

Personal magnetism, it seems, has more to do with being genuinely interested in other people rather than being “interesting.” Dale Carnegie, who wrote the grandfather of all people-skills book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, says that to succeed in life, you have to “Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.” First published in 1937, Dale Carnegie’s flagship book continues to rank in the New York Times Best-Selling Business Books of all time. Carnegie says that success is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to people skills. His training organization, founded in 1912, has a 12-week program revolving around 30 principles that focus on how to become a friendlier person, win people to your way of thinking, and be a leader.

Dance with the Winds of Change
The Bible tells the Parable of the Reed and the Oak. The Mighty Oak Tree, with its deep roots and firm standing, refused to dance with the wind, while the Lowly Reed bent this way and that, even with the slightest of breeze. Ultimately, the Oak Tree was toppled in a storm because of its refusal to compromise,

Even IBM has found flexibility to be the key to success, especially in the rapidly changing automotive industry. Responsiveness to change and adaptability to evolving situations allows big automotive companies and small mom-and-pop businesses survive and succeed – to dance with the winds of change. As Elbert Hubbard says, “The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.”

So, to my nephew and the rest of the Class of 2012 – Good luck. And here’s to finding your own brand of X.