You've probably heard of this book, haven’t you? How to Win Friends and Influence People is a classic and definitive guide on how to improve your ability to relate to others. No wonder that, more than seventy years after its first edition and more than 50 million copies sold, it remains an innovative book and one of the world's leading references on relationships, whether in the professional or personal spheres. Dale Carnegie's advice, methods, and ideas have already benefited millions of people and remain timeless. Carnegie provides simple techniques and methods for anyone to achieve their personal and professional goals. Let's discover them together in just 12min?
For others to like you more, a set of essential principles must be followed. There are simple rules that, when followed, make you admired and able to make more friends. Here they are:
Do you like sour people, who are always looking for flaws in others? And what about your relatives complaining, the whole time putting others down? Probably not. You do not want to be like them if you want to improve your ability to relate to people. You should always avoid criticizing others. Criticism hurts one's pride and makes room for resentment. It is far better to reward good behavior than to punish bad behavior. Avoid ridiculing and do not make value judgments. Put yourself in the other's shoes. Anyone can complain and criticize, but it takes self-control to be understanding and understand how to help genuinely. If you have a habit of finding fault with others, you must overcome it. Understand why people act in a certain way.
There is only one way to influence and get someone to do something. And it is extremely simple. You need to make the person really want to do something. The best ways to develop the best in anyone are appreciation and motivation. Learn to praise and recognize the deeds of others. Encourage them to continue acting positively. However, be careful: recognition is different from flattery. The recognition is sincere and authentic, while flattery is false and easily seen through. If you want to persuade someone, always ask yourself, "How could I make this person want to do this?"
You need to give others what they want, not what you want. Of course, you care about what you want, but most people do not care about your goal. They are interested in what they own. So to convince someone to do something, you need to make that something desirable and motivating for the other's personal goals. You need to see things from their point of view and then try to influence them to do something they want.
For people to like you, you have to act in an "adorable" way. Dale Carnegie lists six extremely simple principles to help you become a person that people like and admire.
If you want to be loved, you need to demonstrate, with actions, that you care about the other. The easiest way to do this is to know how to greet them. To greet people, you should always have enthusiasm and excitement. You have to look into their eyes and show your interest. Always greet all people and never ignore "less important" ones.
Your expression shows a lot about you, even more than the way you dress. The smile is a powerful expression, especially when sincere. If you act like a happy person, you become happy. A smile makes other people's day better, without costing anyone who smiles. Always smile.
The thing that sounds sweetest to a person's ears is his or her own name. You need to be able to memorize people's names and, whenever possible, call them by their names. This demonstrates your genuine interest and attention to them.
People like careful listeners, so you should always show interest in what they have to say. Encourage them to speak and state their points of view and let them know that you are listening and really care about them. Listen calmly and do not interrupt. Ask questions, and people will be happy to respond.
The way to a person's heart is to talk about the things they care about. You should research and discover the interests of people if you want to capture their attention. If you do, you will always have good conversations, and each will learn new things.
Most of the people you talk to on a day-to-day basis feel superior to you, and this is natural. One way to get into the hearts of these people is by making it clear to them that you recognize their importance in a sincere way. Be honest and generous in your praise and make people feel important. Talk about them, their lives and their deeds. Demonstrate your respect by using words such as "Excuse me," "Would you mind?", "Sorry for the inconvenience" and "Thank you."
Every day we have to persuade people to act in ways different from the way they would on their own. The easiest way to do this is by learning the art of influence. Discover Dale Carnegie's principles for influencing others:
Nine out of ten discussions end with both sides even more convinced that they were right than before the start of the discussion. There is no such thing as "winning an argument". Even if you win, you end up losing. You may feel good, but the "loser" side feels inferior, and that makes them resentful about your victory. A person who is convinced against his own will is not really influenced by you. Avoid arguing. If discussing, look for areas of understanding. Listen to your opponent and focus on where you agree. Be honest and admit that you may be wrong.
Why prove someone wrong especially when they did not ask for your opinion? If you want to prove something, do it discreetly, and never focus on the error itself. People need to learn without them realizing it. You are not a teacher to correct them, even less in public. Be wiser, but do not let people know that. To punctuate something you disagree with, use phrases like, "I may be wrong, but I think differently about ...", or "Let's examine the facts, I may have been wrong ...". When you say someone is wrong, it affects that person's self-esteem because their beliefs are part of their identity. When we are wrong, we can admit it to ourselves, and if we are well treated and heard, then we can admit our mistakes to others as well. Ridicule does not convince anyone. Other useful phrases to avoid conflicts are phrases with subtle assertions, such as: "I think ...", "I imagine ...". Be careful about your opinions and avoid imposing your beliefs on others.
To err is human, but if you want to influence, you must also admit your own mistakes. Do not try to defend yourself, admit it quickly, honestly and transparently. It is much better to have self-criticism and to admit your mistake than to hear the same thing pointed out by others. Many try to defend their mistakes and justify them, but your respect and appreciation come from honesty and sincerity in admitting your faults. Also, they help you persuade people to change their behaviors. Talk about your mistakes before you criticize.
Dale Carnegie uses the following maxim to illustrate this principle: an ounce of honey takes more flies than a gallon of gall. If you want to convince someone of something, start slowly, seeking understanding and conciliation. Always show sincere appreciation. They are much more likely to agree with you if you convince them that you are a sincere friend. Gentleness and friendship are always stronger than force. Avoid giving orders. When you agree and seek to understand, people are much more likely to cooperate.
Socrates taught his pupils through the use of questions. If you ask the right questions, you are much more likely to receive a yes as an answer than if you take an authoritative stance. When speaking, start emphasizing the things you agree with, ask questions about these points, leading the other to say yes. When we say something, we feel it is our duty to defend that point of view, so be careful. If you can get the yes, you can move forward, after all, one tends to no disagrees with oneself. Turning a no into a yes is very difficult, so you should start by discovering the points of agreement, asking questions that lead to the "yes", always trying to see from the person's point of view.
People have a natural tendency to try to convince others that they are right, so they end up talking a lot. Listen actively, all the time and let them talk. Do not disagree, do not interrupt and just listen while they are full of ideas and proposals. Encourage them to keep talking until they feel satisfied and understood. This principle holds true for both business and family relationships. Talk about your deeds if people ask, so you do not sound pedantic. Listen to everything and always show interest.
People tend to rely more on the ideas they develop alone and not so much on those they are persuaded to adopt by others. So it is wiser to make suggestions and let them draw their conclusions, after all, no one likes to feel that they are being forced to do something or buy something. Focus on the results, the acceptance of the message and never on the credits of who is the author of the idea. Let them get hold of your ideas if it is necessary for them to act. Focus on the desired result and forget who is the father of the idea.
People may be totally wrong, but they will always believe they are not and that their way is the right way. Be understanding and tolerant, find out why the person thinks that way. Focus on understanding the motives behind the argument and put yourself in the other's shoes. Always ask yourself, "How would I react and feel myself in this same situation in their place?" This makes you discover the reason behind that attitude and lets you know how to direct conversations in pursuit of the common good.
There is a phrase that ends with arguments, creates positive interactions and causes you to capture people's attention. Say, "I understand your concern about this matter," or "I would feel the same way if I were you." People need solidarity and attention. If someone has negative feelings towards you, apologize, sympathize with their views. Everyone wants to be understood and see their problems and opinions recognized. Use this to turn hostility into friendship.
People usually act for two reasons: one that sounds good and the other that is the real reason. Human beings are idealistic of heart and therefore like to look for motifs that sound good. To allow change to take place, we have to appeal to noble causes and motives. Most are honest and want to honor their commitments. Most of the time, people will act favorably to you if they feel that you consider them honest, fair and just.
It is important to dramatize the truth so that it is more noticeable. If we want someone's attention, we have to present the truth in a vivid, interesting and dramatic way. When you go ask for a woman's hand in marriage, you kneel, don’t you? Only words are not enough to express a feeling. Just as film and TV enact the use of products for them to sell, their ideas must also be dramatized. Find ways to improve your ability to present your ideas, so you can engage people's senses and touch their hearts.
People have an innate desire to conquer, and with this desire comes a sense of competition. Everyone wants to outdo others to be their best. When you cannot influence using previous tactics, the best way is to pose a challenge. Successful people love games that allow them to express themselves, prove their worth, and win. Be challenging!
To be able to transform people, you must know how to lead. And for Dale Carnegie, leadership also has fundamental principles that make people want to listen to you and follow your principles. Let's look at them:
Eventually, you'll need to help others improve through criticism. So you're going to have to report a flaw. To do it right and ensure the other is receptive, start by praising, highlighting your positives, then make your criticism. Starting with a compliment is like an anesthetic, which reduces the pain caused by criticism and makes it easier to assimilate.
Most have difficulty coping with criticism. When we want to change others without creating resentments or offenses, changing the way we use the word "BUT" makes all the difference. Replace "BUT" with "AND.” The "BUT" usually makes an inference about failure, while the "AND" gives a challenging perspective for the future. Use phrases such as "We are very happy with you for [reason] and if you continue like this, [the desired effort] you will also have similar results soon."
The next step to changing others without causing negative reactions is to demonstrate that we are also susceptible to mistakes. It is much easier to hear our faults when the person on the other side begins humbly by describing their past failures and similar mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Make your criticism, pondering that you too can make mistakes or have committed them in the past.
Nobody likes to take orders, so you should not be authoritative. Give suggestions and not orders. Never say, "Do it or do it." Always try to say something like "Do you think we could do it in such a way" or "Do you think this can work?" orders can cause an uprising, while suggestions encourage cooperation. Asking questions makes a more acceptable order and encourages people to be proactive. In addition, questions stimulate creativity and encourage new perspectives.
Do not step over the others’ feelings, do not gratuitously criticize, and always seek to maintain their self-esteem. Emphasize lack of experience and never lack of ability. We must always give the chance to maintain their dignity and honor, and we must have a genuine interest in giving a graceful exit to others even when they are wrong.
Look at your past. Remember the compliments that have done you good and allowed you to evolve as a person. One of the most powerful skills we have is to help people achieve success. And the way to do that is by reinforcing their strengths and qualities through praise. Even if it is sometimes difficult to find something to praise, strive and find something. Praise always, at the slightest sign of progress, as this encourages people to progress more and more. Skills wilt under criticism and bloom with praise.
People want to maintain a good reputation and develop their features that stand out. Talk to the person as if he/she already possesses a skill that you want to develop, encouraging and stimulating all the time.
If we tell someone that he/she has no talents for doing something or that they always do something wrong, we take from them the motivation to improve. If we use the opposite technique, we encourage them to move forward to improve and inspire motivation. Do not emphasize mistakes, show good things, and encourage others to try to improve. Tell them that you trust on their ability to develop that skill.
Offer incentives, praise, and give authority to people who accept your decisions and do what you suggest. Appeal to the value they perceive of themselves and their abilities. Giving titles and authority work very well, recognition encourages development.
Dale Carnegie is a master at the art of dealing with people and this book is a must for anyone looking to develop their ability to have better relationships. It is naive to think that just by implementing these techniques will always achieve the results you seek, but Carnegie’s principles work most of the time, in addition to making you a better person. With practice, these principles become part of your daily life and you will become better at understanding, dealing and influencing the people who are part of your life.
12min tip: Dale Carnegie is the embodiment of the good guy, and that's why we like him so much. Want to see an interesting counterpoint to this microbook? See the microbook based on Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power. This is a bad guy, talking about a relatively similar subject.
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