The Get-Along Guide

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author:Eric Garner
date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:19

Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 37th President of the United States. Politically, he has gone down as one of the most unsuccessful presidents in history due to his inauguration following the assassination of President Kennedy and his pursuit of Kennedy’s policy in Vietnam. However, Johnson was a great people person who endeared himself to thousands of people through his personal touch. He wrote down what he called his “Get-Along Guide” which contains the following 7 rules. Practise them yourself and you’ll create the same effect.
1. Be An Old-Shoe Person. By an “old-shoe person”, Johnson meant that you should be as familiar and comfortable with others as their old shoes are. This means easy-going, not easily rattled (if at all), non-judgmental and non-critical. People will then feel safe with you and want to be around you more.
2. Get Rid Of Your Scratchy Features. We all have features that irritate others. For some it can be a bad habit, like always being late for meetings; for others, it can be an occasional lapse caused perhaps by tiredness and stress when we simply take it out on the nearest person or thing available – what some call “kicking the dog”. To get rid of these features, you need to do two things: first, recognize what these features; and secondly, set up a diversion sign when you are tempted to do them until the scratchiness is permanently removed.
3. Remember People’s Names. Our names are one of the sweetest sounds to our ears. A chat with someone that slips in their name just at the right moment has a totally different feel from one that doesn’t. If you find it hard to remember people’s names, use the Silly Association trick where you simply make up a silly association between the name and an image. So, someone called Lazenby could be lazing on the beach and someone called Packenham could be packing N letters into a bag. That way, you have an instant recall technique.
4. Cultivate The Quality Of Being Interesting. Being interesting doesn’t mean that you have to be a mine of information. Quite the opposite. When you hog the conversation, people often get bored and avoid you. But when you hold back and let go of the need to impress, they’ll want to engage you more. And, of course, most people find you interesting if your main topic of conversation is the one they always find fascinating: themselves.
5. Practise Liking People Until You Genuinely Do. At a spiritual level, we may all be saints. But at a practical everyday level, it can truly be hard to like every person we have to work, or deal, with. How do you get round this and remain sincere? The solution lies in finding what psychologists call “the jewel in the crown”, ie the one or more features that others have that redeem them in our eyes. Once you break through that barrier, you can then find more jewels until you genuinely like the person.
6. Never Miss A Chance To Praise. Goethe, the late 17th century philosopher, said that praise was like sunshine on a rainy day: it warms up any relationship. When you praise others, the key is to use the 3 S’s: simple, straightforward, and sincere. Be simple by telling the person what you like in as few words as necessary. Be straightforward by telling them why you liked it. One trick here is to tell someone how they changed you in some way – which is always more effective than simple praise which can sometimes sound like flattery. And be sincere by meaning every word of it.
7. Give Spiritual Strength To People And They’ll Give Genuine Affection Back. When your relationships with others are based on what you get out of them, then sooner or later you’ll be caught out and either used in turn or dumped. Nobody likes to feel used. However, when your relationships are based on the belief that we are all one, that we are brothers and sisters in this world, that we are all angels with one wing needing each other to fly, then you create a real spiritual bond. You cannot help but like them and they in turn will like you.
You cannot make people like you if they don’t want to. You can wield all the power in the world – as Lyndon Johnson did – and it won’t matter a jot if you treat people badly. But follow the 7 principles that Johnson himself followed, and you can get along with just about anyone.

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