The Art of People – What matters is the PEOPLE.

Joy’s Book Review, the 15th Book of 2018

Business, is about people, it is people who pay for what they want to buy for the goods or services. Work, is about people, it is people who are being paid or people who pay others to get things done. Living in this world is about people, because we, people are social animals.

But it is too easy to forget about people when we indulge in business, jobs, and social events. We always tempt into the trap of self-interests, self-desire, shortcut methods, compromising ways to get what we need without paying enough attention to the humans surrounded nor the humanity as a whole.

Part of the reasons is that most people in their daily work or life, don’t need to deal with a large amount of people. So they forget about the forest(the unrelated human world) or they just give shallow care. In the Morden world, most people stay in their isolated small space(office room) and communicate with others without actually seeing them. As of myself, I find myself always talk with people symbolically existed in my WeChat/Gmail/WhatsApp applications on my phone. I communicate with them in a digital 2.0 fashion way: email, text, type, send emojis, hit thumb button, choose stickers etc All these fingertip activities can converted my complicated feelings towards the outside world. Communication in this way is so easier and quick, that I can easily make thousands of new connections in a few minutes, without putting really efforts to get to know some of them. And most of time, I don’t care and I don’t need to care about people, to get things done.

This is our digital communication: Simple, fast, isolated. People, become symbols.

In real life, another reason is the pressure of time. In a fast city like New York, people come and go too often and too quickly. We believe time is money, so we feel hard to sacrifice more than ten minutes to walk across 5 more blocks to meet a friend – it is too far away! There is a joke, New York said, sorry we have to end our relationship because we live 20 blocks away.

I feel something missing here, so I picked up this book for yesterday’ reading hoping to find out more.

I remembered a scene that astonished me when I first visited Harvard Business School in April this year. Surrounded by the brown fancy HBS buildings, there stood a giant vivid lady’s head, peaceful, eye-closed in a meditation. Suddenly an idea stroke me: the essential value of the business lies in the humanity.

One month ago at Harvard China Forum 2018, Culture leaders discussion, one of the panelists, Hui Yang, a famous Sci-Fi writer, said: “The meaning of culture is to form a deep emotional connection between the author and the readers. It is the connection that matters, not IP.”

The essential value of business lies in the humanity

This is a surprising view for me, I used to think about art or culture work is just a piece of thing, never regard them in a way as an emotional humanity connection.

Thinking from this perspective, every piece of work, business, negotiation and lawsuit is process of forming or reforming the connections among people. If one wants to master any skill, he/she shall understand deeply about humanity. A mastery level of business and professional skills all lie deeply in managing the desires and balancing the interests between people. The care for humanity is the key to keep a sustainable business, kill the ruthless indifference, and nurture a long-term corporate value. Understanding and supporting is a basis for a good, decent business.

Understanding humanity, starts from understand yourself at a deep level.

Overall, this is an easy-reading interesting book with stories and practical tips on improving people’s skills. It includes: reading people, knowing people, watching people, finding the right people etc. I like some tips, like “people don’t like advice but like to be heard.”, and dislike some “one minute time spend with someone who don’t give you something is a waste minute always from people who give you something.” I don’t like this one because it is like utilitarianism. I don’t like utilitarianism.

I like this book not because it teaches you how to trick others by the people skills, but because it reminds me to care more about people.

Indeed, there are many books about People’s skills, leadership skills, influence skills, having more friendship and being more successful. All can be summarized in one words stated in Bible:”Love your neighbor as yourself. ” We all know this as common sense. It is not how much we don’t know about people, it is a question of how much do we care?

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