‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie was published in 1947 and sold many copies, making it one of the most famous self-development books in the world. I consider this worth reading. We communicate with different people every day – our friends, family, partners, work colleagues, and strangers. Taking the time to learn a few awesome social skills will take you a long way in learning how to win friends and influence people.
1. Get you out of a mental rut, give you new thoughts, new visions, new ambitions.
2. Enable you to make friends quickly and easily.
3. Increase your popularity.
4. Help you to win people by your way of thinking.
5. Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done.
6. Enable you to win new clients, new customers.
7. Increase your earning power.
8. Make you a better salesman, a better executive.
9. Help you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
10. Make you a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
11. Make the principles of psychology easy for you to apply in your daily contacts.
12. Help you to arouse enthusiasm among your associates.
LESSON 1: You Can’t Win an Argument
Carnegie has been involved in and observed thousands of arguments. He came to the conclusion that to get the best out of an argument one should avoid it altogether nine times out of ten. An argument ends with each person being more convinced that they’re absolutely right even if they are wrong. If you win an argument you actually lose. Why? Well, because you’ve made the other person feel inferior and hurt their sense of pride. Ask yourself is it really worth your time and energy trying to win an argument, when all it will give you is nothing but a temporary sense of victory in exchange for making the other person feel like crap.
LESSON 2: Never Tell a Man He is Wrong
Wayne is a wood-chopper and Karl is a builder. Wayne specializes in oak-wood and Karl in pine-wood. One day Kyle ordered some oak wood from Wayne. Upon inspecting the oak wood Karl was frustrated with its poor quality and wasn’t willing to pay for it but Wayne noticed that his quality inspection was too strict and was misinterpreting how to assess the quality of oak-wood. He knew Karl was wrong. Now most people would be tempted to say “Hey Karl, you’re bloody wrong.” But not Wayne, instead he began asking questions as to why the oak-wood was not of high quality? He emphasized that he was only asking so that he could give Karl exactly what he wanted for future orders. He approached the situation in a friendly and cooperative manner. Eventually Karl’s attitude changed. He soon admitted that he was not experienced with oak-wood and began asking Wayne questions. He finally understood that it was his fault for making poor judgments about the quality of the wood. Karl ended up happily paying for the wood.
Now that’s the power of never telling someone they’re wrong. Now feel free to try this out in your own life. I’m confident that you’ll notice that people respond more positively to you when you don’t tell them they are wrong.
LESSON 3: Ask Questions Instead of Giving Orders
It makes people want to cooperate with you. If you want your roommate to help you to do the dishes. You will likely get a more positive response if you say “Hey Clarence could you please lend me a hand with the dishes?” instead of “Hey Clarence do the dishes with me now”. Framing your requests as a question rather than a demand makes Clarence feel like he has a choice and therefore will be more responsive to your requests.
LESSON 4: Remember Names
Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men in history understood the importance of names when as a child he had a nest of pet rabbits but no food to feed them. He told the boys in the neighborhood that if they would go out and get enough dandelions to feed the rabbits he would name the bunnies in their honor. The plan worked. He used the same principle in business. A man named Pullman and himself were fighting against each other trying to get the sleeping car business to work during a meeting. One evening Andrew Carnegie suggested that they merge companies and work together. Pullman listened intently and then asked what would you call the new company and responded “Why, ‘The Pullman Palace car company’ of course.” Pullman’s face brightened and he asked him to come into his room and talk over it.
When I first met Amy, she told me her name but I didn’t hear her properly. I asked her to say it again and even a third time during class. The longer you leave it, the more awkward it becomes. You might feel embarrassed about asking more than once but realize that people appreciate it when you take the time to learn their name. I remember randomly talking to a man in my class named Tom. Next week I came in and I said “Hey Tom how you doing?” and he said “Wow, I’m surprised you remembered my name”
LESSON 5: Talk In Terms of Other’s Interests
If there was just one lesson you could take away from this book then this would be it. I really struggle to talk to new people. It doesn’t matter if we have nothing in common because I talk about their interests. In one of my first conversations with Amy I asked her a simple question, “What do you like to do in your spare time?” She said “I listen to music randomly, sing and dance, draw stuff, try and keep fit, watch movies and funny TV shows, I read, I cook, I play with my pets and spend time with my family and friends.” I followed her up with another simple question “Okay so what do you read and what do you draw?” Amy got excited after a long hour bursts of sharing her interests she said “I’m getting way too excited talking about this as no one ever gets to know me this way so I have this all bottled up. It’s so awesome talking about my passions so thanks for listening to me.” We get along very well now and have been great friends since. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking to your boss, workmates, teachers, friends, family or strangers. Talk in terms of other people’s interests and they’ll love you.
The content is grasped from here.
Also published on Medium.