I put off reading this book for the longest time. I really didn’t think it would have much of value in it – in fact, I’m sure I dismissed it as too simplistic to be worth the time.
What’s that old saying ‘Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover’?
Well, in this case, I judged the title. The book was put aside many times. I’m sure we’ve all been there right?
Being an all time best seller didn’t even really interest me. It took reading other books that all referred back to this one book to make me pick it up and read it. I certainly learned my lesson.
My Experience with ‘How To Win Friends & Influence People’
This book brings into focus people skills in a way that helps anybody understand.
Dale Carnegie had found that people needed help relating to other people. So many have never been trained how to treat others or how to put some else first. Some had no idea how to genuinely connect and influence people.
By writing down his experiences this book ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People’ has helped tens of thousands of people. Now they have the tools to improve their relationships, increase their ability to sell or increase their ability to add value to their lives and careers.
Success books are about giving you an idea, some stimulus or training to move you from one place to the next. I enjoy reading these books – anything that can help me become a better person!
These 3 tips are taken from the first section of the book: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People.
See how you rate yourself on these, they are invaluable both in our personal and career life.
1. Don’t criticise, condemn or complain
Criticism, condemnation or complaining just alienates and sets others against you. He advises:
‘When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity’.
Just think back to an experience where you have known this to be true. What about if someone has criticised you, even if it was deserved, did it make you want to help that person or do something to make them happy? Or did it make you withdraw somewhat, or get angry, irritated or annoyed.
The criticised person tends to justify themselves, because they only see things from their own point of view. The blame is not theirs but others. The criticism makes people defensive, resentful and hurt. Ultimately the situation that needed to be changed will stay the same.
Psychologists have proven in case studies that ‘animals rewarded for good behaviour will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behaviour’.
Encouraging the good, having self-control and great character should be the aim for all of us.
‘A great man (or woman) shows greatness by the way he treats little men’.
There are some people that live to complain. Those customers that call or email and just want to rant, or maybe you have kids and they haven’t done what you’ve asked 10 times already.
You need to decide the type of person you want to be known for.
To be someone who can influence people you need to learn patience, understanding and how to ‘speak the good of everybody’.
2. Give honest and sincere appreciation
‘The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important’.
When we can make people feel important you will have instant rapport.
Take the time to thank others, acknowledge their contribution, notice the little things done around you. When you show your appreciation their heart opens because you have cared about what they care about – themselves!
Be lavish in your praise and acknowledgement of everyone you meet. Not in a false, mechanical way but genuinely reach out and sincerely connect – it will reap unbelievable rewards.
He tells a story to illustrate this truth:
‘According to this silly story, a farm woman, at the end of her heavy day’s work, set before her menfolks a heaping pile of hay. And when they indignantly demanded whether she had gone crazy she replied: “Why, how did I know you’d notice? I’ve been cooking for you men for the last twenty years and in all that time I’ve heard no word to let me know you wasn’t just eating hay.” When a study was made a few years ago on runaway wives, what do you think was discovered to be the main reason wives ran away? It was ‘lack of appreciation’. And I’d bet that a similar study made of runaway husbands would come out the same way. We often take our spouses so much for granted that we never let them know we appreciate them.’
This is not flattery we are talking about, or self-motivated words to appease someone but genuine appreciation and acknowledgment.
You could be working in an office where the cleaner comes and goes and you’ve never stopped to say thank you.
You could pass the receptionist or supermarket checkout assistant and never take the time to make them feel great.
Such a simple thing can cause you to have influence and favour wherever you go.
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want
‘The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it….the world is full of people who are grabbing and self seeking so the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage’.
As a business owner you want to sell something to someone. This is a great tip for your sales.
What does your customer want? In their words, what are they looking for? When you can give them what they want, then you can show them how to get it, you’ll have unlimited potential to help your customers get exactly what they are looking for. This is how you influence people.
‘Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do something. Before you speak, pause and ask yourself: “How can I make this person want to do it?” That question will stop us from rushing into a situation heedlessly, with futile chatter about our desires.’
He quotes Henry Ford as saying:
‘If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own’.
If we all just took a bit of time and worked on our personal development and paid attention to those around us, treating them how we ourselves would like to be treated, imagine how great it would be.
That feeling of being accepted and important would build relationships both personally and professionally.
These keys start to separate the great from the ordinary, you really will ‘win friends and influence people’.