After finishing this week’s chapter in How to Win Friends and Influence People, questions popped in my mind. Dale Carnegie shared the principle: Talk in terms of other person’s interests. This sounds like a great idea and I definitely agree, but I wanted to go deeper. Why do we focus on the other person’s interests? What is the motivation behind this principle? What makes this principle profound?
We talk in terms of other’s interests, not as a means of manipulation, but out of sincerity and genuine interest. We do this because we really do care about the work we do and the people we work with. This is what makes us better photographers. Because it isn’t about the photographs, it is about the people.
This genuine care and love for the people we work with creates what I will refer to as, “Rich Moments.”
These moments might last hours, or just a few seconds. They normally unravel when the shutter is silenced and our agenda is folded away. It happens when our own voices cease. In this silence, our lives change, as this Rich Moment blooms. The moments unfold when I begin listening. The conversation shifts from sharing my interests to what makes their heart beat. [link to blog post] This makes us better photographers.
What’s the key to unlocking these rich moments in life?
First we must find a connecting point.
Second, we give them the platform.
The rich moment begins when our mouths drip with questions about their passions.
Bottom Line: Our work is only as rich as the relationships we build. If we go shallow then our work only splashes the surface. If we go deep, then our work dives into the ocean. This is crucial as photographers. If we want to capture great images, we work to understand and know the person standing in front of us. That is why we talk in terms of the other person’s interests. We want to get to know them, so we can do our jobs to the best of our ability.
“The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about things he or she treasures most.” –Dale Carnegie.
This week’s exercise:
Pick. Find a person or organization you are interested in learning about.
Type. Type up an email or call on the phone to schedule a time to meet with them.
Research. Between now and the time of the meeting, research, research, research.
Listen. Now it’s time for the meeting. Whether this is a couple interested in engagement photos, or an organization interested in hiring you for an event, your job is to sit down and listen. Focus on their interests, not just interests that are related to the photography assignment, but their personal interests. Get to know what they enjoy doing. Build a relationship that goes deeper than just the photography they are hiring you for.