These are the notes which I took while reading the book titled “How to win friends and influence people” written by Dale Carnegie.
Eight things this book will help people achieve:
- Get out of a mental rut, think new thoughts, acquire new visions, and discover new ambitions.
- Make friends quickly and easily.
- Increase your popularity.
- Win people to your way of thinking.
- Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done.
- Handle complaints, avoid arguments, and keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
- Become a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
- Arouse enthusiasm among your associates.
Nine suggestions in order to get the most out of this book:
- Develop a deep, driving desire to master the principles of human relations.
- Read each chapter twice before going to the next one.
- As you read, stop frequently to ask yourself how you can apply each suggestion.
- Underscore each important idea.
- Review this book each month.
- Apply these principles at every opportunity. Use this volume as a working handbook to help you solve your daily life problems.
- Make a lively game out of your learning by offering some friends a dime or a dollar every time he or she catches you violating one of these principles.
- Check up each week on the progress you are making. Ask yourself what mistakes you have made, what improvement, what lessons you have learned for the future.
- Keep notes in the back of this bok showing how and when you have applied these principles.
Part I: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
Principle 1: Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
- People don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be.
- Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
- B. F. Skinner proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behaviour will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behaviour.
- If you want to change others and feel that they really need to, first be selfish and try to improve yourself. It’s also a lot less dangerous.
- Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.
- Carlyle said, “A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.”
- Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know is to forgive all.”
Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation
- There is only one way to get someone to do something and that is by making the other person want to do it.
- Sigmund Freud said that everything that you and I do springs from two motives: the sex urge and the desire to be great.
- Dr. Dewey said that the deepest urge in human nature is ‘the desire to be important’.
- William James said: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
- If our ancestors hadn’t had this flaming urge for a feeling of importance, civilization would have been impossible. Without it, we should have been just about like animals.
- This desire makes you want to wear the latest styles, drive the latest cards, and talk about your brilliant children.
- It is this desire that lures many boys and girls into joining gangs and engaging in criminal activities.
- If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I’ll tell you what you are. That determines your character. That is the most significant thing about you.
- People sometimes become invalids in order to win sympathy and attention, and get a feeling of importance.
- If some people are so hungry for a feeling of importance that they actually go insane to get it, imagine what miracle anyone can achieve by giving people honest appreciation this side of insanity.
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.
There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.
-- Charles Schwab
- But what do the average people do? The exact opposite. If they don’t like a thing, they bawl out their subordinates; if they do like it, they say nothing.
- One of the reasons for the phenomenal success of Andrew Carnegie was because he praised his associates publicly as well as privately.
- A study made about runaway wives, proved that the main cause was ‘lack of appreciation’. We often take our spouses so much for granted that we never let them know we appreciate them.
- Flattery works seldom with discerning people. It is shallow, selfish and insincere. It ought to fail and it usually does. True, some people are so hungry, so thirsty, for appreciation that they will swallow anything, just as a starving man will eat grass and fishworms.
- Flattery is counterfeit, and like counterfeit money, it will eventually get you into trouble if you pass it to someone else.
The difference between flattery and appreciation:
|Comes from teeth out||Comes from heart out|
|Universally condemned||Universally admired|
- General Obregon’s philosophy: “Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”
- One of the most neglected virtues of our daily existence is appreciation.
- Emerson said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want
- Lloyd George said that his staying on top might be attributed to his having learned that it was necessary to bait the hook to suit the fish.
- We are interested in what we want. So the only way to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
- Many people might give to Red Cross donations because they want to lend a helping hand; they want to do a beautiful, unselfish, divine act.
- Harry Overstreet said: “Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire… and the best piece of advice which can be given to would-be persuaders, whether in business, in the home, in the school, in politics, is: First arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot talks a lonely way.”
- If you want to persuade somebody, before you speak, pause and ask yourself” “How can I make this person want to do it?” This question will stop us from rushing into a situation heedlessly, with futile chatter about our desires.
- Henry Ford said, “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 salespeople can show their customers how their services or merchandise will help solve their problems, they won’t need to sell them. They’ll buy. And customers like to feel that they are buying — not being sold.
- 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. He has little competition.
- One should have an increased tendency to think always in terms of other people’s point of view, and see things from their angle.
- Looking at the other person’s point of view and arousing in him an eager want for something is not to be construed as manipulating that person so that he will do something that is only for your benefit and his detriment. Each party should gain from the negotiation.
- William Winter once remarked that ‘self-expression is the dominant necessity of human nature.’ We should apply this to business dealings. When we have a brilliant idea, instead of making others think it is ours, why not let them cook and stir the idea themselves.
Part II: Six ways to make people like you
Principle 4: Become genuinely interested in other people
- One can make more friends by becoming genuinely interested in other people than one can in trying to get other people interested in you.
- People are interested in themselves — morning, noon and after dinner.
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.
-- Alfred Adler
- Mr. Thurston, a great magician, had the ability to put his personality across the footlights. He was a master showman. He knew human nature. He also had a genuine interest in people. He told that many magicians would look at the audience and say to themselves, “Well, there is a bunch of suckers out there, a bunch of hicks; I’ll fool them all right.” But Thurston’s method was totally different. He told me that every time he went on stage he said to himself: “I am grateful because these people come to see me. I’m going to give them the very best I possibly can.”
- One can win the attention and time and cooperation of even the most sought-after people by becoming genuinely interested in them.
- If one wants to make friends, he should greet people with animation and enthusiasm. Say ‘Hello’ in tones that bespeak how pleased you are to have the person call.
- Old Roman poet, Publilius Syrus remarked: “We are interested in others when they are interested in us.”
- A show of interest, as with every other principle of human relations, must be sincere. It must pay off not only for the person showing the interest, but for the person receiving the attention. It is a two-way street where both parties benefit.
Principle 5: Smile
- The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears.
- For Schwab’s personality, his charm, his ability to make people like him, were almost wholly responsible for his extraordinary success; and one of the most delightful factors in his personality was his captivating smile.
- Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.”
- Prof James V. McConnell, said, “People who while tend to manage, tech and sell more effectively, and to raise happier children. There’s far more information in a smile than a frown. That’s why encouragement is a much more effective teaching device than punishment.”
- The effect of smile is powerful — even when it is unseen. When you smile while talking on phone, you ‘smile’ comes through in your voice.
- If you don’t feel like smiling, then first force yourself to smile. If you are alone, force yourself to whistle or hum a tune or sing. Act as if you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy.
Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.
Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there…”
-- William James (Philosopher)
- Everybody in the world is seeking happiness and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.
- Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind of the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon he opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual… Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude — the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.
-- Elbert Hubbard
- Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it.
- When someone is under pressure from his bosses, his customers, his teachers or parents or children, a smile can help him realize that all is not hopeless — that there is joy in the world.
The Value of a Smile at Christmas
- It costs nothing, but creates much.
- It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.
- It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes last forever. None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for it’s benefits.
- It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.
- It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote for trouble.
- Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.
- And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, my we ask you to leave one of yours?
- For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!
Principle 6: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
- Whenever Franklin Roosevelt met a new acquaintance, he found out this or her complete name and some facts about his or her family, business and political opinions. He fixed all these facts well in mind as part of the picture, and the next time he met that person, even if it was a year later, he was able to shake hands, inquire after the family, and ask about the hollyhocks in the backyard.
- Jim Farley discovered early in life that the average person is more interested in his or her own name rather than in all other names on earth put together. Remember that name and call it easily, and you have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. But forget it or misspell it — and you have placed yourself at a sharp disadvantage.
- Sometimes it is difficult to remember a name, particularly if it is hard to pronounce. Rather than even try to learn it, many people ignore it or call the person by an easy nickname. That’s the exact time when one shouldn’t. The other person might not be expecting it and would be over-enjoyed by the gesture.
- When Carnegie wanted to do a business partnership with the other person, he suggested his name which made him more interested in the deal.
- Andrew Carnegie was proud of the fact that he could call many of his factory workers by their first names, and he boasted that while he was personally in charge, no strike ever disturbed his flaming steel mills.
- The bigger the corporation gets, the colder it becomes. One way to warm it up is to remember people’s names. The executive who can’t remember names doesn’t realize a significant part of his business and is operating on quick sand.
- People are so proud of their names that they strive to perpetuate them at any cost.
- For many centuries, nobles and magnates supported artists, musicians and authors so that their creative works would be dedicated to them.
- Most people don’t remember names, for the simple reason that they don’t take the time and energy necessary to concentrate and repeat and fix names indelibly in their minds. They make excuses for themselves; they are too busy.
- One of the first lessons a politician learns is this: “To recall a voter’s name is statesmanship. To forget it is oblivion.” And the ability to remember names is almost as important in business and social contacts as it is in politics.
- Napoleon took great trouble in remembering names and often asked people multiple times and even asked them to spell it out.
- All this takes time but ‘Good Manners’ are made up of petty sacrifices.
- We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others. The information we are imparting or the request we are making takes on a special importance when we approach the situation with the name of the individual.
Principle 7: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
- Listen intently and be genuinely interested. That kind of listening is one of the highest compliments we can pay anyone.
- Charles W Eliot said, “There is no mystery about successful business intercourse… Exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you is very important. Nothing else is flattering as that.”
- Listening was not mere silence, but a form of activity. Listen with your mind and attentively consider what you had to say while you say it.
- Listening is just as important in one’s home life as in the world of business.
- At times, people don’t want advice. They merely want a friendly, sympathetic listener to whom he could unburden himself. That’s what we all want when we are in trouble. That is frequently all the irritated customer wants, and the dissatisfied employee or the hurt friend.
- If you never listen to anyone for long and talk incessantly about yourself, you will make people shun you and laugh at you behind your back and even despise you.
- People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves.
- So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.
- Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems.
Principle 8: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
- Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested since he knew that the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures the most.
- Talking in terms of other person’s interests pays off for both parties.
- At times the reward is an enlargement of your own life when you speak to someone about his/her interests.
Principle 9: Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely
- If we are so contemptibly selfish that we can’t radiate a little happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying to get something out of the other person in return — we shall meet with the failure we so richly deserve.
- The law is: Always make the other person feel important.
- Human’s deepest desire is to be felt important.
- Most important rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
- Everyone wants the approval of those with whom they come in contact. Everyone wants recognition of their true worth. Nobody wants to listen to cheap, insincere flattery, but one does crave sincere appreciation.
- Little phrases such as “I’m sorry to trouble you”, “Would you be so kind as to — ?”, “Won’t you please?”, “Would you mind?” “Thank you” — little courtesies like these oil the cogs of the monotonous grind of everyday life — and, incidentally, they are the hallmark of good breeding.
- The unvarnished truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance, and recognize it sincerely.
Part III: How to Win People to your Way of Thinking
Principle 10: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
- Don’t try to prove someone wrong when your opinion is not asked
- You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph
A man convinced against his will Is of the same opinion still.
If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will. -- Ben Franklin
- Would you rather have an academic, theatrical victory or a person’s good will?
- Buddha said, “Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love’, and a misunderstanding is never ended by an argument but by tact, diplomacy, conciliation and a sympathetic desire to see the other person’s viewpoint.
Welcome the disagreement. Remember the slogan, “When two partners always agree, one of them is not necessary.’ If there is some point you haven’t thought about, be thankful if it is brought to your attention. Perhaps this disagreement is your opportunity to be corrected before you make a serious mistake.
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.
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.
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 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. In preparation for this meeting, ask yourself some hard questions:
Could my opponents by right? Partly right? Is there truth or merit in their position or argument? Is my reaction one that will relieve the problem, or will it just relieve any frustration? Will my reaction drive my opponents further away or draw them closer to me? Will my reaction elevate the estimation good people have of me? Will I win or lose? What price will I have to pay if I win? If I am quiet about it, will the disagreement bow over? Is this difficult situation an opportunity for me?
— Excerpt from Bit’s and Pieces
Principle 11: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong”
- You can tell people they are wrong by a look or an intonation or a gesture just as eloquently as you can in words — and if you tell them they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? Never! For you have struct a direct blow at their intelligence, judgement, pride and self-respect. That will make them want to strike back. But it will never make them want to change their minds.
- If you are going to prove anything, don’t let anybody know it.
Men must be taught as if you taught them not And things unknown proposed as things forgot — Alexander Pope
You cannot teach a man anything; You can only help him find it within himself. — Galileo
Be wiser than other people if you can; But do not tell them so. — Lord Chesterfield
One thing only I know, and that is I know nothing — Socrates
- 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.”
- You will never get into trouble by admitting that you may be wrong. That will stop all argument and inspire your opponent to be just as fair and open and board-minded as you are. It will make him want to admit that he, too, may be wrong.
- Few people are logical. Most of us are prejudiced and biased. Most of us are blighted with preconceived notions, with jealousy, suspicion, fear, envy and pride.
We sometimes find ourselves changing our minds without any resistance or heavy emotion, but if we are told we are wrong, we resent the imputation and harden our hearts. We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposes to rob us of their companionship. It is obviously not the ideas themselves that are dear us, but our self-esteem which is threatened… The little word ‘my’ is the most important one in human affairs, and properly to reckon with it is the beginning of wisdom. It has the same force whether it is ‘my’ dinner, ‘my’ dog, and ‘my’ house, or ‘my’ father, and ‘my’ God. We not only resent the imputation that our watch is wrong, or our car shabby, but that our conception of the canals of Mars, of the pronunciation of ‘Epictetus’, of the medicinal value of salicin, or of the date of Sargon I is subject to revision. We like to continue to believe what we have been accustomed to accept as true, and the resentment aroused when dobut is cast upon any of our assumptions lead us to seek every manner of excuse for clinging to it. The result is that most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do. — The Mind in the Making by James Harvey Robinson
I have found it of enormous value when I can permit myself to understand the other person. The way in which I have worded this statement may seem strange to you. Is it necessary to permit oneself to understand another? I think it is. Our first reaction to most of the statements (which we hear from other people) is an evaluation or judgement, rather tha an understandinf 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 normal”, “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.
- When we are wrong, we may admit it to ourselves. And if we are handled gently and tactfully, we may admit it to others and even take pride in our frankness and broad-mindedness. But not if someone else is trying to ram the unpalatable fact down our esophagus.
- ‘By asking questions in a very friendly, cooperative spirit, and insisting continually that they were right in laying out boards not satisfactory to their response, I got him warmed up, and the strained relations between us began to thaw and melt away. An occasional carefully put remark on my part gave birth to the idea in his mind that possibly some of these reject pieces were actually within the grade that they had bought, and that their requirements demanded a more expensive grade. I was careful, however, not to let him think I was making an issue of this point.
- Martin Luther King said: “I judge people by their own principles — not by my own.”
Principle 12: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
- Everyone wants a feeling of importance. So when you begin to condemn yourself, the only way he could nourish his self-esteem was to take the magnanimous attitude of showing mercy.
- Try to break lances with people. Admit that you are wrong and he is right and admit it quickly, openly, and with enthusiasm.
- If we know we are going to be rebuked anyhow, isn’t it far better to beat the other person to it and do it ourselves?
- Say about yourself all the derogatory things you know the other person is thinking or wants to say or intends to say — and say them before that person has a chance to say them. The chances are a hundred to one that a generous, forgiving attitude will be taken and your mistakes will be minimized just as the mounted policeman did with me and Rex.
- There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit one’s errors. It not only clears the air of guilt and defensiveness, but often helps solve the problem created by error.
- And fool can try to defend his or her mistakes — and most fools do — but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.
- Remember the old proverb: “By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.”
Principle 13: Begin in a friendly way
It is an old and true maxim that ‘a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.’ So with men, if you would win a man to you cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart; which, say what you will, is the great high road to his reason. — Lincoln
- The sun can make you take off your coat more quickly than wind; and kindliness, the friendly approach and appreciation can make people change their minds more readily than all the bluster and storming in the world.
Principle 14: Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately
- In talking with people, don’t begin by discussing the things on which you differ. Begin by emphasizing — and keep on emphasizing — the things on which you agree. Keep emphasizing, if possible, that you are both striving for the same end and that your only difference is one of method and not of purpose.
- Get the other person saying “Yes, yes” at the outset. Keep your opponent, if possible, from saying “no”.
- A “No” response, according to Prof Overstreet, is a most difficult handicap to overcome. When you have said “No”, all your pride and personality demands that you remain consistent with yourself. You may later feel that the “No” was ill-advised; nevertheless, there is your precious pride to consider! Once having said a thing, you feel you must stick to it. Hence it is of the very greatest importance that a person be started in affirmative direction.
- The skillful speaker gets, at the outset, a number of “Yes” responses. This sets the psychological process of the listeners moving in the affirmative direction. It is like the movement of a billiard ball. Propel in one direction, and it takes some force to deflect it; far more force to send it back in the opposite direction.
- When a person says “No” and really means it, he or she is doing far more than saying a word of two letters. The entire organism — glandular, nervous, muscular — gathers itself together into a condition of rejection.
- When, to the contrary, a person says “Yes”, none of the withdrawal activities takes place. The organism is in a forward — moving, accepting, open attitude. Hence the more “Yeses” we can, at the very outset, induce, the more likely we are to succeed in capturing the attention for our ultimate proposal.
- Socratic method was based upon getting a ‘yes, yes’ response. He asked questions with which his opponent would have to agree. He kept on winning one admission after another until he had an armful of yeses. He kept on asking questions until finally, almost without realizing it, his opponents found themselves embracing a conclusion they would have bitterly denied a few minutes previously.
- The Chinese have a proverb pregnant with the age-old wisdom of the Orient: ‘He who treads softly goes far.’
Principle 15: Let the other person do a great deal of talking
- Most people trying to win others to their way of thinking do too much talking themselves. Let the other people talk themselves out. They know more about their business and problems than you do. So ask them questions.
- If you disagree with the people you are asking questions, you may be tempted to interrupt. But don’t. It is dangerous. They won’t pay attention to you while they still have a lot of ideas of their own crying for expression. So listen patiently and with an open mind. Be sincere about it. Encourage them to express their ideas fully.
- Almost every successful person likes to reminisce about his early struggles. Charles T. Cubellis was no exception. He talked for a long time about how he had started with $450 in cash and an original idea. He told how he had fought against discouragement and battled against ridicule, working Sundays and holidays, twelve to sixteen hours a day; how he had finally won against all odds until now the most important executives on Wall Street were coming to him for information and guidance.
Principle 16: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers
- No one lines to feel that he or she is being sold something or told to do a thing. We much prefer to feel that we are buying of our own accord or acting on our own ideas. We like to be consulted about our wished, our wants, our thoughts.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay ‘Self-Reliance’ stated: “In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.”
Principle 17: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
- Remember that other people may be totally wrong. But they don’t think so. Don’t condemn them. Any fool can do that. Try to understand them. Only wise, tolerant, exceptional people even try to do that.
- There is a reason why the other man thinks and acts as he does. Ferret out that reason — and you have the key to his actions, perhaps to his personality.
- Try honestly to put yourself in his place.
- Nirenberg commented: “Cooperativeness in conversation is achieved when you show that you consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as important as your own. Starting your conversation by giving the other person the purpose or direction of your conversation, governing what you say by what you would want to hear if you were the listener, and accepting his or her viewpoint will encourage the listener to have an open mind to your ideas.”
- Dean Donham of the Harvard Business School said, “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.
Principle 18: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
- The magic phrase to stop arguments, eliminate ill feelings, create good will, and make the other person listen attentively 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.”
- Three-fourths of the people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsty for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you.
- Dr. Arthur I. Gates said in his splendid book Educational Psychology: “Sympathy the human species universally craves. The child eagerly displays his injury; or even inflicts a cut or bruise in order to reap abundant sympathy. For the same purpose adults… show their bruises, relate their accidents, illness, especially details of surgical operations. “Self-pity” for misfortunes real or imaginary is in some measure, practically a universal practice.”
Principle 19: Appeal to the nobler motives
- Almost all the people you meet have a high regard for themselves and like to be fine and unselfish in their own estimation.
- The person himself will think of the real reason. You don’t need to emphasize that. But all of us, idealists at heart, like to think of motives that sound good. So, in order to chance people, appeal to the nobler motives.
- Mr Thomas said, "Experience has taught me, that when no information can be secured about the customer, the only sound basis on which to proceed is to assume that he or she is sincere, honest, truthful and willing and anxious to pay the charges, once convinced they are correct. To put it differently and perhaps more clearly, people are honest and want to discharge their obligations.”
Principle 20: Dramatize your ideas
- This is the day of dramatization. Merely stating a truth isn’t enough. The truth has to be made vivid, interesting, dramatic. You have to use showmanship. The movies do it. Television does it. And you will have to do it if you want attention.
- Dramatize the viewer the advantages offered by whatever is being sold — and they do get people to buy them.
Principle 21: Throw down a challenge
- Charles Schwab said: “The way to get things done, is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in sordid, money-getting way, but in the desire to excel.”
- “All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory” was the motto of the King’s Guard in ancient Greece.
- The one major factor that motivated people was the work itself. If the work was exciting and interesting, the worker looked forward to doing it and was motivated to do a good job.
- That is what every successful person loves: the game. The chance for self-expression. The chance to prove his or her worth, to excel, to win. That is what makes foot-races and hog-calling and pie-eating contests. The desire to excel. The desire for a feeling of importance.
Part IV: Be a Leader: How to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment
Principle 22: Begin with praise and honest appreciation
- Beginning with praise is like the dentist who beings his work with Novocain. The patient still gets a drilling, but the Novocain is pain-killing.
Principle 23: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
- Many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word ‘but’ and ending with a critical statement. People feel encouraged till they hear the word ‘but’. But then they would question the sincerity of the original praise. To them, 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 can be easily overcome by changing the word ‘but’ to ‘and’.
- Calling attention to one’s mistakes indirectly works wonders with sensitive people who may resent bitterly any direct criticism.
Principle 24: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
- It isn’t nearly so difficult to listen to a recital of your faults if the person criticizing beings by humbly admitting that he, too, is far from impeccable.
Principle 25: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
- Give the opportunity to people to do things themselves; let them do them and let them learn from their mistakes.
- That technique makes it easy for a person to correct errors. A technique like that saves a person’s pride and gives him or her a feeling of importance. It encourages cooperation instead of rebellion.
- Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; it often stimulates the creativity of the persons whom you ask. People are more likely to accept an order if they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.
Principle 26: Let the other person save face
- We ride roughshod over the feelings of others, getting our own way, finding fault, issuing threats, criticizing a child or an employee in front of others, without even considering the hurt to the other person’s pride. Whereas a few minutes’ thought, a considerate word or two, a genuine understanding of the other person’s attitude, would go so far toward alleviating the sting.
- Even if we are right and the other person is definitely wrong, we only destroy ego by causing someone to lose face.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.”
Principle 27: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
- Contemporary psychologist, B. F. Skinner has shown by experiments with animals and with humans that when criticism is minimized and praise emphasized, the good things people do will be reinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack of attention.
- Everybody likes to be praised, but when praise is specific, it comes across as sincere — not something that other person may be saying just to make one feel good.
- Remember, we all crave appreciation and recognition, and will do almost anything to get it. But nobody wants insincerity. Nobody wants flattery.
- The principles taught in this book will only work when they come from the heart. The author does not advocate a bag of tricks.
- Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.
Principle 28: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
- Samuel Vauclain said, “The average person can be led readily if you have his or her respect and if you show that you respect that person for some kind of ability.”
- There is an old saying, “Give a dog a bad name and you may as well hang him”. But give him a good name — and see what happens.
Principle 29: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct
- Tell someone that he or she is stupid at a certain thing, has no gift for it, and is doing it all wrong, and you have destroyed almost every incentive to try to improve. But use the opposite technique — be liberal with your encouragement, make the thing seem easy to do, let the other person know that you have faith in his ability to do it, that he has an undeveloped flair for it — and he will practice until the dawn comes in the window in order to excel.
Principle 30: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest
- Colonel House said, “Always make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.”
Effective leader must keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Be sincere. Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person.
- Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
- Be empathetic. Ask yourself what is the other person really wants.
- Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.
- Match those benefits to the other person’s wants.
- When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit.