I adore working on my podcast. If just one person comes away from an episode of mine feeling inspired then my work is done. From a personal standpoint it has taught me so much. First and foremost it has helped me develop my ability to build relationships. Upon reflection everything that has happened to me over the past 12 months has come off the back off The Inspiration Space. Proving the power of building relationships.
I have recently finished How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This book should be a prescription for anybody wanting to improve their interpersonal skills. As somebody who has always loved human interaction, I have always considered myself good with people. But this book made two things exceptionally clear.
1. Where I have improved over the last year.
2. Where improvement still has to be made.
The biggest lesson that this book taught me was something so incredibly simple and that is this.
"If you want to know how to make people shun you and laugh at you behind their back and even despise you, here is the recipe. Never listen to anyone for long. Talk incessantly about yourself. If you have an idea while the other person is talking, don't wait for him or her to finish: bust right in and interrupt in the middle of a sentence."
As soon as I read that I realised what a tool I used to be. Without realising it, the podcast was the first step to improving this. I have always found other people’s stories fascinating and genuinely have always cared about what other people are saying. However, what classified me to be a culprit of the statement above was the innate desperation to feel important in the eyes of others.
Think about that for a second. How many people do you know that feel the need to push their importance on you? The answer is everybody to one degree or another. It’s an inborn yearning that makes people want to do this.
“The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to feel important.” John Dewey.
The next time you are in a social situation you will realise it. However do not condemn people for it because what that person wants is your focus and attention on what they are saying about themselves. They want to feel important. So let them.
The podcast allowed me to focus completely on other people’s achievements and that is when it clicked. When you make somebody else the sole focus of the conversation and genuinely care about their story and what they do, you have made the biggest leap into building that relationship. Do I refer to myself at points during my interviews – of course. I said I had got better not perfect at this process (insert - laughing face emoji!). However I will always make sure that that whoever I am speaking with on the show has told us their story, imparted their life lessons and enjoyed the experience. After all, I did invite them on my show to talk about themselves!!
When was the last time you honestly gave somebody your full and undivided attention? When did you last bring a conversation consistently back to the other person? When did you really listen to what another person was saying and keep proper eye contact? When I think about this, the most amazing and talented people I know do it every time I see them communicate in a social environment.
The ability to make other people feel valued is such an incredible skill. Without knowing it, the message that sends to another person is that you appreciate their existence and that makes them feel important. So fucking simple and effective.
From the podcast I have maintained contact with every guest and something has come out of each episode recorded. An important thing to note here is that, my intention was never to get anything out of my podcast guests. It is just human nature that by building a relationship there is an authentic base for further opportunities.
So what I want you to action today:
1. Go and buy “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Read it and practice it.
2. Build yourself up for your next social meet up with new individuals. Go into it with the intention of making other individuals the primary focus of conversation. See what happens. Thank me later.
3. Subscribe to The Inspiration Space podcast below and listen to some of the incredible stories that have been told.