How to Win Friends and Influence People: When I first heard about this book I was a bit taken aback. The whole idea of a book written about this topic seemed a little skeezy and manipulative. “Is the book going to teach me weird mind games?” I wondered.
“Please tell me there's no hypnosis involved!” My first impression of this classic could not have been more wrong. This is a resource that I will turn to again and again. Whether you have thousands of friends and are the most likeable person on the planet, or whether interacting with people in general just kind of scares the pants off of you – there is plenty of wisdom to be found in this book (and absoloutely zero creepy mind games!)
After you read How the World Sees You by Sally Hogshead, grab this one next so you can learn how to take the best of you and create genuine, meaningful relationships with others.
To see this book in action, let's take a look at the scenario below.
There she goes again. You're left staring at the back of your employee's head as she walks away. You've become all too familiar with the wave of her hair, the casual way it's tossed back, her lack of attention or care regarding anything you say. How can you get through to her?
It's not that she's done anything worthy of letting her go, but at the same time, does she ever care about anything either? You can't seem to get through to her. She nods blankly when you talk with her — her mind clearly somewhere else. She does her tasks half-heartedly, and they are often incomplete unless she is given multiple reminders and firm deadlines.
This is not what you were hoping for when you hired your first employee. You thought your passion and excitement for your business would immediately transfer to her too.
All you need to do is tell her what to do, be excited about it, and she'll handle the rest, right?
Isn't this how things work between a boss and employee?
There is a whole lot more involved in being a great leader or influencer. How to Win Friends and Influence People is an incredibly rich resource that shares the basics of human psychology (without feeling like a psych 101 class!) that will change the way you see others and approach the world.
Rather than leave the pages feeling like a Jedi mind-master, you'll leave them feeling more equipped to treat others the way they should be treated. There are no power plays here – no dramatic special effects – just plain old solid advice on how to put others first and be less demanding and selfish.
The coolest thing?
When you give more than you receive, you end up receiving more in the end.
As I listened to this book, I found myself agreeing with all of the principles mentioned, but realized how often I miss the mark in my own life. It's easy to know what the right to do is, but it's another thing to apply it. The best part about the book are all the case studies and real-life examples. When I find myself slipping back into selfish jerk mode, (Yep, that's right, I have a selfish jerk mode and it switches on far more often than I'd like to admit!) I'll return to the pages of this book to stay on track. As a Christian, I found this book even more refreshing because I realized that being successful doesn't mean abandoning any of the principles that I hold dear.
Let's dive into the main points discussed in How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
- Don't criticize, condemn, or complain.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Six Ways to Make People Like You
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person's interest.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
“Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. Of course, you are interested in what you want. You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want.”
“Emerson said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
- The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never say “You're Wrong.”
- If you're wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
- Begin in a friendly way.
- Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes.
- Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
- Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
- Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires.
- Appeal to the nobler motives.
- Dramatize your ideas.
- Throw down a challenge.
“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
“The chronic kicker, even the most violent critic, will frequently soften and be subdued in the presence of a patient, sympathetic listener— a listener who will be silent while the irate fault-finder dilates like a king cobra and spews the poison out of his system.”
“By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.”
Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
- Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
- Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
- Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
- Let the other person save face.
- Praise every improvement.
- Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
- Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
- Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.
“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people,” said Schwab, “the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. “There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors.”
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.”
“The secret of his success? “I will speak ill of no man,” he said, “. . and speak all the good I know of everybody.”
In the podcast, I dive into some of the details of the points above and give some examples. You'll also hear about my first-hand experience as a nurse dealing with some difficult people (did someone say surgeons? who me?! naaaah! They're all teddy bears.) and contrast that with others who approached their interactions with more intention and care.
If you're debating whether this book will be useful for you, let me give a few examples.
You're a brand new photographer in town. You know that networking with others and getting the word out about your business is vitally important. Do you simply need to shout the loudest to accomplish this? Nope! This book will teach you how to form those important relationships to get your business off the ground.
You're an Etsy shop owner, and last year's busy Christmas season has convinced you to hire some help. You wouldn't describe yourself as a people-person. You prefer the solitary artist's life – working quietly in your studio. Is it possible for you to form a successful working relationship with an employee? Absolutely! How to Win Friends and Influence People will point you in the right direction.
You're a blogger, and although your site gets some decent traffic one year after starting it, you're finding it tough to create a genuine community amongst your readers. You know that community is important to keep people coming back and to create loyal customers who will be the first to buy your information products. How can you accomplish this? How to Win Friends and Influence People will spark some ideas for you on this front and help you get back to the basics of connecting with your audience.
I hope you will give this book a try. I personally listened to the audiobook format while folding laundry and cleaning the house.
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