Arouse In The Other Person An Eager Want.

The Interested Challenge

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” — Dale Carnegie

Once in China at this super mall called “Sugo”, I was buying some grocery but I couldn’t find this cheese I was looking for, since language was a barrier and they shift their aisles twice a week so it was hard for me because from last time where I picked cheese now it was a biscuit rack over there so I had to call the worker and it was the most interesting conversation I’ve had at grocery shopping. She was a lady and pretty good at English, which is you know hard to find when you are in China. I asked her, where to find this cheese and she pointed towards aisle number 23 right across the accelerator if I am not mistaken, on the way back I couldn’t resist myself to ask her “Why you change your racks and aisles so often?” This simple question triggered a very interesting conversation.

Illustration of typical Chinese superstore.

She told me it’s a psychological technique invented by the team of marketing and advertising specialists of their chain, which proves that changing the position of racks triggers interest in people finding that particular thing they are looking for and urge them to buy more things during that search. It was pretty fascinating and I asked her how they knew about this technique because it seemed very unconventional. She told me that the test was conducted at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) and they were using it for a year in Harbin before applying it to nationwide. I then asked the lady, how was the response or impact of this technique and she told me they were able to increase their revenue up to 1.5 percent from previous years and she went on to explain how this technique generates profits and I was so amazed at the statistics she was explaining, only then she told me that she was pursuing bachelor’s in applied psychology at Nanjing University. Though I was an engineering student but we spoke lots about the general behavior, cognitive, neural and personality psychology and its impact. As I myself has deep interest in that field and have read and researched it factions. She told me that how she was a part of an experiment at local restaurant where the staff was more individual and connected as compared to other big chains. The whole conversation went for quite some time and was genuinely interesting.

First Addition, 11th Printing, February 1937 Cover

The above quote from the start of an article are from the Carnegie’s famous book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People”, that has been a huge impact on many lives.

The reason why I shared this story is because after our conversation she started to ask me questions about why I was in China, how long I’d been here, how many places I have visited and she gave me great suggestions for places to explore and food to try and things that I should know. By showing a genuine interest in what she was doing, what were her motives, was she studying or what her biggest dream, she became more interested in me.

This is the key principle and core ingredient in Carnegie books that says: “become genuinely interested in other people.” This is something I have worked hard to ingrain.

Since I read the book and started to consciously try to bring into focus this and other concepts, I decided to take a test that focuses only on asking questions to others about themselves and to avoid any question that would be directed to me. Also, I had to avoid any hint that would alarm them that I am under some survey or…. before I share my experience I want you to know that I am a least talkative person in the house and sometimes they even forget that I exist! well, it has its own perks and stakes, I won’t object to any of that. And I only speak where it is necessary and I ask questions a lot, so being quite in that way, taking this ‘challenge’ was very initiative and I really wanted to perceive the approach of connecting people in a new way.

A quite by famous American football player & coach Lou Holtz

The experience that I had was somewhat very intriguing and compelling. Because it persuaded me to start a conversation, that I never did before, to interact with them and especially listen to them. I almost connected with 25 people and all were family including kids. The responses were vary but motive was same, shut-up and listen to them! Some conversations were really compelling me to talk and have bit of chit chat but I think I did fine. I was amazed that I had this great strength of listening to people, and it doesn’t bored me at all, listening to them and not speaking. Recently I took a personality test and it shows me I am an advocate type and “counseling” was one of the professions that they suggested.

But on a whim, I have figured that there is always something genuinely interesting about what somebody is doing. So what I need to do is to pursue that interest I’ve, ask more questions, continue that conversations and look for the responses people gives. One more thing that I would share that becoming interested will open a lot of opportunities as genuinely connecting with someone builds great relations and allows other to know more about you. Perhaps the key point in all of this is “genuine”, it is really important that you keep this factor in you no matter what happens as Carnegie himself said,

“The principles taught in this book will work only when they come from the heart. I am not advocating a bag of tricks; I am talking about a new way of life.”