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📖 How to Win Friends and Influence People

For "the great aim of education," said Herbert Spencer, "is not knowledge but action."

Say to yourself over and over: "My popularity, my happiness and sense of worth depend to no small extent upon my skill in dealing with people."

Don't criticize, condemn, or complain

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, 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.

As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation. The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned.

So, if criticism won't change the outcome nor the other person's perspective, why criticize? Just to feel better?

Abraham Lincoln found himself in this situation during the Battle of Gettysburg and realized that "If I send this letter, it will relieve my feelings, but it will make Meade try to justify himself. It will make him condemn me. It will arouse hard feelings, impair all his further usefulness as a commander, and perhaps force him to resign from the army."

I will speak ill of no man.

—— Benjamin Franklin

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.

Dr. Johnson said: "God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days" Why should you and I?

Give honest and sincere appreciation

There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever stop to think of that? Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it.

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. Dr. John Dewey said that the deepest urge in human nature is "the desire to be important".

"I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people" said Charles M. Schwab, "the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement".

Let's cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let's try to figure out the other person's good points.

  • First, think about what they want, not what you want: think always in terms of other people's point of view, and see things from their angle.
  • Never criticize, even if somebody did something wrong (see Principle 1).
  • Give honest, sincere appreciation if somebody did something right and make them feel important.

Arouse in the other person an eager want it

Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. Of course, you are interested in what you want. You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want.

Think about it: every act you have ever performed since the day you were born was performed because you wanted something.

So the only way on Earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

It then follows that if you are able to talk in terms of what the other person wants, and arouse in the other person an eager to want it, you'll be set for life.

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.

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.

—— Henry Ford

If salespeople can show us how their product will help us solve our problems, they won't need to sell us. We'll buy. And customers like to feel that they are buying - not being sold.

Become genuinely interested in other people

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves - morning, noon and after dinner.

One can win the attention and time and cooperation of even the most sought-after people by becoming genuinely interested in them.

If we want to make friends, let's put ourselves out to do things for other people — things that require time, energy, unselfishness and thoughtfulness.

Smile and remember other people's names

Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says: "I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you".

So if you want to make yourself instantly likeable to someone, show them that you're happy to see them by smiling. When they see how happy you are to meet them, they can't help but be happy to see you too.

Smiling also has benefits for you: everybody 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.

The average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together. A person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

The executive who tells me he can't remember names is at the same time telling me he can't remember a significant part of his business and is operating on quicksand.

Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.

—— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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. Think of that the next time you start a conversation.

Be a good listener and talk in terms of other's interests

Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves and always talk in terms of the other person's interests.

Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.

—— Ralph Waldo Emerson

In a nutshell

Part I — Fundamental Techniques In Handling People:

  • Principle 1: Don't criticize, condemn or complain.
  • Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  • Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Part II — Six Ways To Make People Like You:

  • Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • Principle 2: Smile.
  • Principle 3: Remember other people name.
  • Principle 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person's interests.
  • Principle 6: Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely.

Published on July 13, 2019