This video gives you a sneak peak into some of the events that transpired, though it doesn’t capture the drama in full. Seemingly sweet in front of the judges, Kaci spat out venom behind the scenes and failed to win favor with the judges or America. Kaci’s actions were so distasteful that even Simon Cowell – one of America’s most controversial talent judges – called her a “vile monster.” Now if you’ve ever watched Simon Cowell in his prime on shows like American Idol, you’ll know that comment says a lot coming from him.
Like Kaci, we can all get wrapped up in ourselves sometimes. Eager to chase our fires, we forget that we need people in our corner along the journey. No (wo)man is an island. Ambition and a desire to be successful can be wonderful things, but no-one likes someone who is self-absorbed, dismissive, or publicly critical of others. In Kaci’s case, America responded by booing, laughing at her expense, and eventually kicking her off the X-Factor ‘island’ that she so fiercely staked claim to.
Though most of us will likely never face the public ridicule that has ensued for Kaci, stepping on people to get to the top still has major consequences. Not only can it severely damage our social standing, reputation, and careers, but it can also lead to lasting pain for others.
Kaci’s story led me to reflect on the age old wisdom contained in Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” (His message is so powerful that over 50 million copies of his book have been printed since 1936 in 38 languages spanning the globe. Pick up a copy if you haven’t read it yet!) Carnegie teaches us that relationships are everything. Singing talent aside, had Kaci been genuine, likable, respectful, and positively engaged, she might have faced a different outcome.
Remember this as you chase your fire: there will be times when you need support and encouragement – or even a few votes – to take you in the direction of your dreams. So make friends, influence people, and (most importantly) be genuine. Take a lesson in humility by following a few of my favorite Carnegie principles:
- Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. Instead try to see the other person’s point of view.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation. Each of us desires to feel important.
- Instead of focusing on your selfish wants, arouse in the other person an eagerness to be around you by focusing on their interests or talking in terms of the potential benefits involved.
- Become genuinely interested in those around you.
- Show your pearly whites whenever possible.
- Pay careful attention to people’s names, as it is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Listen attentively and encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Don’t focus on your interests in conversations, but rather the interests of the other person.
- Make it your sincere mission to make others feel important.
- Always show respect for the opinions of others. Avoid saying or implying, “You’re wrong.”
- If you are wrong, admit it quickly and empathetically.
- Always begin in a friendly way.
- Listen attentively while allowing the other person to do most of the talking.
- Give the other person credit for their ideas.
- Always consider the other person’s point of view.
- Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
- Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
- Let the other person save face.
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”
So put on your warmest and most sincere smile this week and show genuine interest in those around you. Give others a reason to fall in love with the amazing person that you are! You never know when those relationships will become critical to your success.
Happy influencing, friends!
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Photo credit: pnijhuis
Tagged with: advice • attitude • career goals • dale carnegie • interpersonal relationships • interpersonal skills • network with others • networking • networking skills • passion • simon cowell • success tips
Filed under: Life Strategies
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