How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Very insightful book! I highly recommend reading it as the principles taught are vital to human relations. I’m just sorry I haven’t read it sooner.
Below are excerpts I copied from the book and a few thoughts/comments:
“The principles taught in this book will work only when they come from the heart. I am not advocating a bag of tricks. I am talking about a new way of life. Talk about changing people. If you and I will inspire the people with whom we come in contact to a realization of the hidden treasures they possess, we can do far more than change people. We can literally transform them.” – Dale Carnegie
FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES FOR HANDLING PEOPLE
Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Give honest and sincere appreciation.
Arouse in the other person an eager want.”
Criticism: There’s no point! It makes you feel proactive yet the other person will always try to justify themselves. President Lincoln learned not to criticize and became a wonderful leader. They mentioned a great person is measured by how they treat the little people. One outstanding example was a pilot who almost crashed because a new guy used the wrong fuel. Instead of condemning him, the pilot said, “To prove to you I know you will never make that mistake again, you will be fueling my plane again tomorrow.” Wow! That’s true learning and a leader!
Importance: People’s biggest unmet need is the craving for importance. Charles Schwab said, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”
Flattery: “Think about the difference between compliments and appreciation vs flattery. People can sense insincerity so flattery is one of the worst things you can do.”
Quotes about thinking from the other person’s point of view:
- Here is one of the best bits of advice ever given about the fine art of human relationships. “If there is any one secret of success,” said Henry Ford, “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 out of reading this book you get just one thing—an increased tendency to think always in terms of other people’s point of view, and see things from their angle—if you get that one thing out of this book, it may easily prove to be one of the building blocks of your career.
- Our first reaction to most of the statements (which we hear from other people) is an evaluation or judgment, rather than an understanding of it. When someone expresses some feeling, attitude or belief, our tendency is almost immediately to feel “that’s right,” or “that’s stupid,” “that’s abnormal,” “that’s unreasonable,” “that’s incorrect,” “that’s not nice.” Very rarely do we permit ourselves to understand precisely what the meaning of the statement is to the other person.
- First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.
- It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.
- Don’t you have much more faith in ideas that you discover for yourself than in ideas that are handed to you on a silver platter?
- I would rather walk the sidewalk in front of a person’s office for two hours before an interview than step into that office without a perfectly clear idea of what I was going to say and what that person—from my knowledge of his or her interests and motives—was likely to answer.
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 interests.
Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.
Remember you cannot win an argument ever! Even if you get your way, the other person will resent it so you don’t truly win.
Quotes about what to do if the other person is wrong:
- “Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save his face? He didn’t ask for your opinion. He didn’t want it. Why argue with him? Always avoid the acute angle.”
- “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
- “Men must be taught as if you taught them not and things unknown proposed as things forgot.”
- “If a person makes a statement that you think is wrong—yes, even that you know is wrong—isn’t it better to begin by saying: “Well, now, look. I thought otherwise, but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I am wrong, I want to be put right. Let’s examine the facts.”
- There’s magic, positive magic, in such phrases as: “I may be wrong. I frequently am. Let’s examine the facts.”
Quotes for techniques to use in an argument:
- Listen first. Give your opponents a chance to talk. Let them finish. Do not resist, defend or debate. This only raises barriers. Try to build bridges of understanding. Don’t build higher barriers of misunderstanding.
- Look for areas of agreement. When you have heard your opponents out, dwell first on the points and areas on which you agree.
- Wouldn’t you like to have a magic phrase that would stop arguments, eliminate ill feeling, create good will, and make the other person listen attentively? Yes? All right. Here it is: “I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.”
Quotes about what you need to master in an argument:
- Distrust your first instinctive impression. Our first natural reaction in a disagreeable situation is to be defensive. Be careful. Keep calm and watch out for your first reaction. It may be you at your worst, not your best.
- Control your temper. Remember, you can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.
- Be honest. Look for areas where you can admit error and say so. Apologize for your mistakes. It will help disarm your opponents and reduce defensiveness.
- Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully. And mean it. Your opponents may be right. It is a lot easier at this stage to agree to think about their points than to move rapidly ahead and find yourself in a position where your opponents can say: “We tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen.”
- Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things you are. Think of them as people who really want to help you, and you may turn your opponents into friends.
- Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem. Suggest that a new meeting be held later that day or the next day, when all the facts may be brought to bear.
Enlightening analogy about what technique gets better results
The sun and wind debated over who get an old man’s jacket off the fastest. The wind went first so the sun went behind a cloud. The wind blew until it was almost a tornado, but the harder it blew, the tighter the old man clutched his coat to him. Finally, the wind calmed down and gave up, and then the sun came out from behind the clouds and smiled kindly on the old man. Presently, he mopped his brow and pulled off his coat. The sun then told the wind that gentleness and friendliness were always stronger than fury and force.
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 are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Begin in a friendly way.
Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
Let the other person feel that 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.
BE A LEADER
A leader’s job often includes changing your people’s attitudes and behavior.
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 the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
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 the thing you suggest.
“If You Must Find Fault, This Is the Way to Begin: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.”
“Simply changing one three-letter word can often spell the difference between failure and success in changing people without giving offense or arousing resentment. Many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word “but” and ending with a critical statement.”
A few examples of the different techniques in action from the book:
New product met with resistance: Our factory has recently completed a new line of X-ray equipment. The first shipment of these machines has just arrived at our office. They are not perfect. We know that, and we want to improve them. So we should be deeply obligated to you if you could find time to look them over and give us your ideas about how they can be made more serviceable to your profession. Knowing how occupied you are, I shall be glad to send my car for you at any hour you specify.
For example, in trying to change a child’s careless attitude toward studies, we might say, “We’re really proud of you, Johnnie, for raising your grades this term. But if you had worked harder on your algebra, the results would have been better.” In this case, Johnnie might feel encouraged until he heard the word “but.” He might then question the sincerity of the original praise. To him, the praise seemed only to be a contrived lead-in to a critical inference of failure. Credibility would be strained, and we probably would not achieve our objectives of changing Johnnie’s attitude toward his studies. This could be easily overcome by changing the word “but” to “and.” “We’re really proud of you, Johnnie, for raising your grades this term, and by continuing the same conscientious efforts next term, your algebra grade can be up with all the others.” Now, Johnnie would accept the praise because there was no follow-up of an inference of failure. We have called his attention to the behavior we wished to change indirectly, and the chances are he will try to live up to our expectations.
Dale Carnegie recommended reading Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography