How to win friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is one of my favorite books of all time. The book was first published in 1936 and has sold over 30 million copies have been sold worldwide. The book contains lots of insights and nuggets on getting along with people, key strategies of human relations. The book is one of the few books I have read at least more than five times, and with every reading, I realize I still have a long way to go and will highly recommend it for anyone trying to understand human behavior and relation.
Here are my favourite take aways from reading,How to win friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie:
Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
“Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof,when your own doorstep is unclean.” – Confucius
If you and I want to stir up a resentment tomorrow that may rankle across the decades and endure until death, just let us indulge in a little stinging criticism- no matter how certain we are that it is justified. When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
“As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation” – Hans Selye
Human nature does not like to admit fault. When people are criticized or humiliated, they rarely respond well and will often become defensive and resent their critic. To handle people well, we must never criticize, condemn or complain because it will never result in the behavior we desire.
When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
Give honest and sincere appreciation.
“A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.” ― Thomas Carlyle.
Appreciation is one of the most powerful tools in the world. People will rarely work at their maximum potential under criticism, but honest appreciation brings out their best. Appreciation, though, is not simple flattery, it must be sincere, meaningful and with love.
“Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”
- Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he thinks about himself.
When we are not engaged in thinking about some definite problem, we usually spend about 95 percent of our time thinking about ourselves. Now, if we stop thinking about ourselves for a while and begin to think of the other person’s good points, we won’t have to resort to flattery so cheap and false that it can be spotted almost before it is out of the mouth.
“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” – William James
Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,” and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime – repeat them years after you have forgotten them.
Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.
Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do something. Before you speak, pause and ask yourself: ‘How can I make this person want to do it?’ That question will stop us from rushing into a situation heedlessly, with futile chatter about our desires.
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” – Henry Ford
First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way. – Professor Overstreet
This is a good thing to remember regardless of whether you are dealing with children or calves or chimpanzees. For example: one day Ralph Waldo Emerson and his son tried to get a calf into the barn. But they made the common mistake of thinking only of what they wanted: Emerson pushed and his son pulled. But the calf was doing just what they were doing: he was thinking only of what he wanted; so he stiffened his legs and stubbornly refused to leave the pasture. The Irish housemaid saw their predicament. She couldn’t write essays and books; but, on this occasion at least, she had more horse sense, or calf sense, than Emerson had. She thought of what the calf wanted; so she put her maternal finger in the calf’s mouth and let the calf suck her finger as she gently led him into the barn.
Every act you have ever performed since the day you were born was performed because you wanted something. How about the time you gave a large contribution to the Red Cross? Yes, that is no exception to the rule. You gave the Red Cross the donation because you wanted to lend a helping hand; you wanted to do a beautiful, unselfish, divine act.
Six Ways to Make People Like You
Become genuinely interested in other people.
You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you. The only way to make quality, lasting friendships is to learn to be genuinely interested in them and their interests.
“ People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves – morning, noon and after dinner.”
Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds. Especially when that someone is under pressure from his bosses, his customers, his teachers or parents or children, a smile can help him realise that all is not hopeless – that there is joy in the world.
Happiness does not depend on outside circumstances, but rather on inward attitudes. Smiles are free to give and have an amazing ability to make others feel wonderful. Smile in everything that you do.
“The average person is more interested in their own name than in all the other names in the world put together.”
People love their names so much that they will often donate large amounts of money just to have a building named after themselves. We can make people feel extremely valued and important by remembering their name.
“One of the first lessons a politician learns is this: ‘To recall a voter’s name is statesmanship. To forget it is oblivion.’ And the ability to remember names is almost as important in business and social contacts as it is in politics”
‘To recall a voter’s name is statesmanship. To forget it is oblivion.’
The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others. The information we are imparting or the request we are making takes on a special importance when we approach the situation with the name of the individual. From the waitress to the senior executive, the name will work magic as we deal with others.
Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
Principle 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
The easiest way to become a good conversationalist is to become a good listener. To be a good listener, we must actually care about what people have to say. Many times people don’t want an entertaining conversation partner; they just want someone who will listen to them.
‘Many persons call a doctor when all they want is an audience.” – Readers’s Digest
So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.
Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more intested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems. A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people. A boil on one’s neck interests one more than forty earthquakes in Africa. Think of that the next time you start a conversation.
PRINCIPLE 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most. If we talk to people about what they are interested in, they will feel valued and value us in return.
PRINCIPLE 6 : Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
’The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.’ – William James
The golden rule is to treat other people how we would like to be treated. We love to feel important and so does everyone else. People will talk to us for hours if we allow them to talk about themselves. If we can make people feel important in a sincere and appreciative way, then we will win all the friends we could ever dream of.
‘Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours.” – Benjamin Disraeli
Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
PRINCIPLE 1: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each of the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right.
You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is noncompos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph.
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
Whenever we argue with someone, no matter if we win or lose the argument, we still lose. The other person will either feel humiliated or strengthened and will only seek to bolster their own position. We must try to avoid arguments whenever we can.
PRINCIPLE 2: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong.
Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so. – Lord Chesterfield
We must never tell people flat out that they are wrong. It will only serve to offend them and insult their pride. No one likes to be humiliated; we must not be so blunt.
Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes – and most fools do – but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.
PRINCIPLE 3: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Whenever we are wrong we should admit it immediately. When we fight we never get enough, but by yielding we often get more than we expected. When we admit that we are wrong people trust us and begin to sympathize with our way of thinking.
When we are right, let’s try to win people gently and tactfully to our way of thinking, and when we are wrong – and that will be surprisingly often, if we are honest with ourselves – let’s admit our mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm. Not only will that technique produce astonishing results; but, believe it or not, it is a lot more fun, under the circumstances, than trying to defend oneself.
‘By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.’
PRINCIPLE 4: Begin in a friendly way.
‘A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.’ – Abraham Lincoln
If a man’s heart is rankling with discord and ill feeling toward you, you can’t win him to your way of thinking with all the logic in Christendom. Scolding parents and domineering bosses and husbands and nagging wives ought to realize that people don’t want to change their minds. They can’t be forced or driven to agree with you or me. But they may possibly be led to, if we are gentle and friendly, ever so gentle and ever so friendly.
PRINCIPLE 5: Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately.
Get the other person saying ‘Yes, yes’ at the outset. Keep your opponent, if possible, from saying ‘No.’
The skilful speaker gets, at the outset, a number of ‘Yes’ responses. This sets the psychological process of the listeners moving in the affirmative direction. It is like the movement of a billiard ball. Propel in one direction, and it takes some force to deflect it; far more force to send it back in the opposite direction.
‘He who treads softly goes far.’ – Chinese Proverb
PRINCIPLE 6 : Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
MOST PEOPLE TRYING to win others to their way of thinking do too much talking themselves. Let the other people talk themselves out. They know more about their business and problems than you do. So ask them questions. Let them tell you a few things.
If you disagree with them you may be tempted to interrupt. But don’t. It is dangerous. They won’t pay attention to you while they still have a lot of ideas of their own crying for expression. So listen patiently and with an open mind. Be sincere about it. Encourage them to express their ideas fully.
‘If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.” – La Rochefoucauld
No one likes to feel that he or she is being sold something or told to do a thing. We much prefer to feel that we are buying of our own accord or acting on our own ideas. We like to be consulted about our wishes, our wants, our thoughts.
PRINCIPLE 7: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
REMEMBER THAT OTHER people may be totally wrong. But they don’t think so. Don’t condemn them. Any fool can do that. Try to understand them. Only wise, tolerant, exceptional people even try to do that.
There is a reason why the other man thinks and acts as he does. Ferret out that reason – and you have the key to his actions, perhaps to his personality. Try honestly to put yourself in his place.
PRINCIPLE 8: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
People inherently like ideas they come to on their own better than those that are handed to them on a platter. Ideas can best be carried out by allowing others to think they arrived at it themselves.
Three-fourths of the people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you.
Other people may often be wrong, but we cannot condemn them. We must seek to understand them. Success in dealing with people requires a sympathetic grasp of the other person’s viewpoint.
PRINCIPLE 9: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
The fact is that all people you meet have a high regard for themselves and like to be fine and unselfish in their own estimation.
People are hungering for sympathy. They want us to recognize all that they desire and feel. If we can sympathize with others, they will appreciate our side as well and will often come around to our way of thinking.
When John D. Rockefeller, Jr., wished to stop newspaper photographers from snapping pictures of his children, he too appealed to the nobler motives. He didn’t say: ‘I don’t want their pictures published.’ No, he appealed to the desire, deep in all of us, to refrain from harming children. He said: ‘You know how it is, boys. You’ve got children yourselves, some of you. And you know it’s not good for youngsters to get too much publicity.’
PRINCIPLE 10: Appeal to the nobler motives.
Everyone likes to be glorious in their own eyes. People believe that they do things for noble and morally upright reasons. If we can appeal to others’ noble motives we can successfully convince them to follow our ideas.
Principle 11: Dramatize your ideas.
In this fast-paced world, simply stating a truth isn’t enough. The truth must be made vivid, interesting, and dramatic. Television has been doing it for years. Sometimes ideas are not enough and we must dramatize them.
Principle 12: Throw down a challenge.
The thing that most motivates people is the game. Everyone desires to excel and prove their worth. If we want someone to do something, we must give them a challenge and they will often rise to meet it.
Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
PRINCIPLE 1: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
People will do things begrudgingly for criticism and an iron-fisted leader, but they will work wonders when they are praised and appreciated.
Principle 2: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
No one likes to make mistakes, especially in front of others. Scolding and blaming only serve to humiliate. If we subtly and indirectly show people mistakes, they will appreciate us and be more likely to improve.
“It isn’t nearly so difficult to listen to a recital of your faults if the person criticising begins by humbly admitting that he, too, is far from impeccable.”
PRINCIPLE 3: Talk about your own mistakes before criticising the other person.
When something goes wrong, taking responsibility can help win others to your side. People do not like to shoulder all the blame and taking credit for mistakes helps to remove the sting from our critiques of others.
People are more likely to accept an order if they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.
PRINCIPLE 4: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
No one likes to take orders. If we offer suggestions, rather than orders, it will boost others’ confidence and allow them to learn quickly from their mistakes.
I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
PRINCIPLE 5: Let the other person save face.
Nothing diminishes the dignity of a man quite like an insult to his pride. If we don’t condemn our employees in front of others and allow them to save face, they will be motivated to do better in the future and confident that they can.
‘Praise is like sunlight to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.” – Jess Lair
PRINCIPLE 6: Praise every improvement.
People love to receive praise and admiration. If we truly want someone to improve at something, we must praise their every advance. “Abilities wither under criticism, they blossom under encouragement.”
“Everybody likes to be praised, but when praise is specific, it comes across as sincere – not something the other person may be saying just to make one feel good. Remember, we all crave appreciation and recognition, and will do almost anything to get it. But nobody wants insincerity. Nobody wants flattery.”
PRINCIPLE 7: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
Give a dog a bad name and you may as well hang him.’ But give him a good name – and see what happens!
If we give people a great reputation to live up to, they will desire to embody the characteristics with which we have described them. People will work with vigor and confidence if they believe they can be better.
In short, if you want to improve a person in a certain respect, act as though that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics. Shakespeare said ‘Assume a virtue, if you have it not.’ And it might be well to assume and state openly that other people have the virtue you want them to develop. Give them a fine reputation to live up to, and they will make prodigious efforts rather than see you disillusioned.
PRINCIPLE 8: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
If a desired outcome seems like a momentous task, people will give up and lose heart. But if a fault seems easy to correct, they will readily jump at the opportunity to improve. If we frame objectives as small and easy improvements, we will see dramatic increases in desire and success in our employees.
PRINCIPLE 9: Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.
People will most often respond well when they desire to do the behavior put forth. If we want to influence people and become effective leaders, we must learn to frame our desires in terms of others’ desires.
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.