After reading Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living and writing a review about it, I was eager to read other books by Dale Carnegie. Since our theme this month is Relationships, the obvious choice is How to Win Friends and Influence People.
How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the most popular books on human relations. The book has become a classic and remains a bestseller more than 70 years after its initial publication in 1936.
Let’s see inside the book.
Inside How to Win Friends and Influence People
Part One. Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
1. “If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive”
Here is an important principle in relationships: don’t criticize, condemn or complain. People rarely blame themselves for anything, so if you criticize them not only are they unlikely to change, but also they may resent toward you.
2. The Big Secret of Dealing with People
People will go long way – sometimes even become insane – just to get the appreciation they need. So be a person who give honest and sincere appreciation to others. That’s the big secret of dealing with people. If you do that, you can’t keep people from liking you.
Part Two. Six Ways to Make People Like You
1. Do This And You’ll be Welcome Anywhere
This chapter contains a famous quote by Dale Carnegie:
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.
Are you interested in others? Do you want to know about them, admire their work, and eager to help them? If you do, they will also be interested in you.
2. A Simple Way to Make a Good First Impression
The way to make a good first impression is so simple that we sometimes forget it: smile. When you smile, people will feel that you are glad to meet them. They will feel accepted and get a good first impression about you.
3. If You Don’t Do This, You Are Headed for Trouble
People put tremendous importance on their names. Therefore it will be much easier for you to win their hearts if you approach them by using their names. Unfortunately, we often forget names.
I’m as guilty as anybody else here. Sometimes I’m introduced to someone only to forget his or her name right after the conversation. Another embarrassing situation is when I meet someone who call me by name but whose name I forget.
4. An Easy Way to Become a Good Conversationalist
It may seem counterintuitive, but being a good conversationalist is about by how good you talk. It’s about how good you listen. Encourage others to talk about themselves and be a good listener. People will feel appreciated and they will regard you as a nice people to talk with.
6. How to Make People Like You Instantly
To make people like you, make them feel important and do it sincerely. The desire to feel important is perhaps the deepest need someone has, so if you give it you will win their heart.
I wrote some practical tips on it in 33 Tips to Become a Well Liked Person.
Part Three. How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
1. You Can’t Win an Argument
You can only lose if you argue because – no matter what the outcome of the argumentation is – you won’t win their heart. So the way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
This is something that is rather difficult for me. If I have an idea I’m confident about, I’m usually willing to argue to prove my point. This chapter shows me how wrong it is.
2. A Sure Way of Making Enemies – And How to Avoid It
A sure way of making enemies is by saying that they are wrong. People don’t like that, regardless of whether they are actually wrong or not. Such statements hurt their self-esteem. So learn to respect other people’s opinion, even when you disagree.
5. The Secret of Socrates
If you want to win other people to your way of thinking, it’s important to make them agree with you from the beginning. The way to do that is by asking questions that they will inevitably answer with “yes”. Every time they say “yes” they will become more receptive toward you. At the end, there is a good chance that they will accept the idea they previously rejected. This is a technique used by Socrates to convince his opponents.
8. A Formula that Will Work Wonders for You
There must be a reason why people say or act the way they do. Find that reason and talk from their point of view. If you understand them, they will in turn understand you.
Part Four. Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
1. If You Must Find Fault, This is the Way to Begin
As a leader, we sometimes need to correct the people we lead. But how can we do that without offending them? The answer is by praising and giving honest appreciation first. When we do that, they will become much more receptive to the correction we give.
6. How to Spur People On to Success
The best way to develop good traits in others is not by punishing them for incorrect actions but by rewarding them for correct actions. Praise every improvement they make, even the slightest one, and they will go to the right direction.
7. Give a Dog a Good Name
A good way to get others do things the way you want it is by giving them a fine reputation to live up to. For instance, if you want someone to be diligent then treat her as a diligent person and say so to her. Most likely she won’t disappoint you.
How to Win Friends and Influence People contains excellent principles for human relations. The principles are universal and cover practically every important aspects of relationships. The stories in each chapter make it easy to grasp those principles.
The problem, of course, is in putting the principles into practice. Knowing the principles is one thing, but applying them is another thing. Since most of us have the tendency to be selfish, we need conscious and serious effort to apply the principles in the book. That’s why Dale Carnegie positioned How to Win Friends and Influence People as a workbook that we should refer to from time to time.
This article is part of August 2008 theme: Relationships