Carnegie’s book , How to Win Friends and Influence People, has been the #1 best-selling classic self-help book for years now, with well over 15 million copies sold worldwide. It’s been translated into over 30 languages and in many ways ushered in the popularization of self-help books as we know them today. Some of the tips he puts forth in this book may seem obvious or even simplistic, but if you stop and think about it they really aren’t so simple after all. And they are also incredibly useful if you put them into practice.
Table of Contents
Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
Criticism, complaints, and condemnations only put people on the defensive and make you appear hostile. If you want to win people over, it’s important that they like you. Being likable is much more effective than being right. So be pleasant — keep a smile on your face — even if things aren’t going so well for you.
Give honest appreciation
It’s very easy to give a flattering review or complement, but these often come off as insincere. Instead, try complimenting your colleague on a specific action or behavior that you genuinely admire. This can have a greater impact than simply saying good job—and it will show you truly mean what you say. Appreciation is one of Dale Carnegie’s most powerful techniques for winning friends and influencing people.
Arouse in the other person an eager want
The first step in influencing people is to arouse in them an eager want. A hungry man is not likely to be very pleasant company; neither is one who has just come into possession of wealth. What you have, or what you can do for others, must appeal to their desires before they will want it or do it. And it must seem possible for them to possess or acquire what you offer if they are going to make any effort at all.
Become genuinely interested in other people
This one might seem simple, but it’s easier said than done. If you don’t have an innate interest in others, try practicing genuine interest by asking questions like How did you get into x? or Tell me more about your idea/biggest achievement/ideal job. Take time to listen and stay engaged with what they have to say, as many people aren’t accustomed to being asked such questions.
Everyone is more approachable when they’re smiling, so force yourself to smile every time you meet someone new. A happy face will help your conversation partner connect with you on a personal level. What’s more, genuine smiles are contagious—some studies have shown that people who practice smiling actually feel happier. As an added bonus, some research has found that smiling can boost your immune system, help maintain healthy skin and even improve heart health (by decreasing blood pressure).
Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
Learn everyone’s name. Be sure, too, that you learn how to pronounce it correctly. Nothing is more flattering than being called by your correct name. If you greet an employee each morning by his or her first name and use it in addressing him during the day, that employee will feel closer to you and more willing to accept your suggestions or direction. Remembering names is a great aid in acquiring new friends, because people like to be appreciated. The person whose name is remembered feels flattered.
Be a good listener
The ability to listen well shows that you care about someone, which is one of the best ways to begin a friendship. If you’re good at listening, people will naturally be drawn to you because they feel like you’re understanding them better than others do. Plus, showing your interest in what someone else has to say is a great way of putting them at ease. This allows people who are shy or nervous around new people an easy way into conversations.
Encourage others to talk about themselves
In many cases, people aren’t very good at asking questions—both of themselves and others. To develop genuine connections with other people, it’s important to strike up a conversation that sparks meaningful dialogue. One of my favorite techniques is simply to ask other people what they think about a certain topic or idea. Try it out—you’ll be surprised by how much you learn!
Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
When you take an interest in another person, that person feels important –- for people are seldom self-centered -– and because he feels important, you win his goodwill. If a man says I am going to do what I want to do, watch out; but if he says What do you want me to do? you have leaped into his inner circle. Remember that all human beings crave appreciation and admiration; they live on it. Give people sincere appreciation and they will love you.
Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
If you sincerely want to make friends and have people like you, it’s critical that you learn how to make other people feel important. One of Dale Carnegie’s main takeaways in How To Win Friends & Influence People is that if someone has a need or desire, you should fill it if at all possible – but even more than that, your goal should be making them feel important.
Sympathize with the other person
Let them know that you understand how they feel by sympathizing with their situation. You don’t need to go overboard, but just letting them know that you get it makes a huge difference. If possible, you want them to walk away from the conversation thinking wow, I really hit it off with that person instead of oh man, I don’t think we’ll be friends.
Appeal to the nobler motives
Like most people, you want to make friends for all of the wrong reasons. Sure, there’s a good chance that you want genuine connections—and maybe even some of that cordial society (Carnegie’s term for a sense of camaraderie)—but mostly, you just want some people around who will hold your gaze for longer than five seconds.