Dale Carnegie published How To Win Friends and Influence People in 1936 yet the lessons it contains are extremely relevant and valuable 75 years later. This book is essential reading for anyone in a sales or marketing role and will help solidify both business and personal relationships. Essentially, this book spells out a plan for getting what you want from other people by changing the way you behave.
In this summary, you will learn:
To get the most out of this book, you’ll need to constantly remind yourself about how important these principles are, review them, and think about how to apply them. Apply them whenever you can and even ask a spouse or business associate to remind you when you violate one of these principles. As you practice, review your progress and keep notes showing when you have used these methods. In doing so, you’ll be creating your own business “field report” that will help you hone your influencing skills.
The first basic principle of handling people is being nice. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain about people. Instead of judging people or condemning them, try to understand them and why they do what they do. This way, you can better show support, sympathy, tolerance, and kindness. People like others who treat them this way and will respond positively to such an approach. You may need to exercise control to hold back from expressing your negative feelings, but do so. In fact, if you have the desire to change others, it’s better to begin with yourself.
The second principle is recognizing what others want and giving it to them. There are many things that people want. Some of the most common include health and the preservation of life, food, sleep, money and the things money will buy, sexual gratification, the well-being of our family, and a feeling of importance. Most of these wants are usually fulfilled, except the desire to feel important and that is a very strong basic desire. It’s the desire that motivates people to want to be fashionable, drive nice cars, and seek success. The way to understand a person’s basic character is to know what creates a feeling of importance for them. Once you know that key, you can make that person feel important. At the same time, avoid saying or doing things that undermine feelings of importance. For example, if you have someone working for you, use incentives rather than criticism to motivate him or her. Nothing else kills the ambitions of a person like the criticisms from superiors. Praise where you can and be hesitant to find fault. However, avoid insincere flattery, since that doesn’t work well either. Generally, people will see it as shallow and selfish. The key is to give honest and sincere appreciation.
The third principle is to arouse an eager want in others. This principle works because we are all interested in getting what we want. So if you want influence over other people, find out what others want and how you can help them get it. In doing so, it helps to understand the other person’s point of view and see things from their perspective as well as your own.
There are six basic rules for getting people to like you. The underlying principle is to pay attention to others and show you are concerned.
The first rule is to become genuinely interested in other people. By doing so, you can gain the attention of others and secure their cooperation again and again. By showing this interest in others as a manager, you can develop loyalty to your company as well, since people see you as a representative of your company.
The second rule is to make a good first impression by smiling. This smile is important, since actions speak louder than words, and a smile helps to show that you like the person. It shows you are glad to see him and want to be friendly. Of course, this smile shouldn’t be an insincere grin, which looks mechanical and people resent it. But a smile that comes from within will help attract people to you.
The third rule is to remember the person’s name. A good way to do this is to fix the person’s name and some facts about his or her family, business, or interests firmly in mind when you meet. Then, when you see that person again, you will remember it. Having this recall is critical because people value their names highly, as reflected in the way that many companies are named after their founders or the way that donors give large bequests to organizations that name libraries, museums, or other buildings after them.
The fourth rule is to be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves. It is especially flattering to pay exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you rather than looking around to see who else might be there. Listening is also very important for someone to provide proper customer service. For example, if someone comes to complain, just listening attentively can help to diffuse that person’s anger. It may even make the person’s grievances disappear.
The fifth rule is to talk in a way that interests others. Talk about what they care about.
The sixth and final rule says to find a sincere way to make others feel important. For example, ask yourself what you honestly admire about the other person. Remember that the psychologist William James said that, “the deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” By showing your appreciation for another person; you help nurture their feelings of self-importance. It is very important to be sincere when you show your appreciation so your compliments don’t come across as insincere flattery.
There are 12 techniques addressed for convincing other people to believe what you are telling them. Consciously try to apply each of the following methods in your conversations:
Finally, if you are in a leadership position, there are some techniques that you can use to get people to change without offending them or creating resentment. The eight most important leadership principles are the following:
At an absolute minimum, be aware of the following takeaways: It may be useful to post these in a location where you will see them daily.
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