First published in 1936, the book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie has stood the test of time, and is a book that I still refer to and recommend to people today. I have a copy with me whenever I go on a recharge holiday! As we say at Live it Now, life is about relationships. This book is a fundamental tool for building relationships or friendships, and who couldn’t use more friends?
The most successful leaders in business have all read ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ for the simple reason being the techniques work. Even entrepreneurs such as Warren Buffett use this book as a manual. If it’s good enough for him, then it’s good enough for me!
There are so many things that ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ will teach you. Of all of these things, there are twelve that form the most basic building blocks for relationships and life in general. This book will help to get you past any mental blockages. You will find yourself being filled with new and positive thoughts, as well as new visions, and new ambitions. Soon, you will begin to make friends with ease. You may become popular and have a reputation that people look up to. By doing this you will start to win people over to your way of thinking.
Soon, you’ll begin to win over new clients, customers, and influence people in society. Then you will notice that your earning power increases. From there you will be better placed to make moves as an entrepreneur, investor, and business executive, staying ahead of the market. You’ll find yourself now being able to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your diverse clientele happy and be more responsive to feedback. You will also become an improved public speaker, as you can now tell the difference between what people would like to hear, from what they won’t like to hear, at different times and occasions. You will also learn techniques to hold more engaging conversations. You’ll also become more sensitive to the needs of your friends, clients, and business partners.
There are four main pillars to the book, let’s take a look at those parts now.
Understanding how to deliver feedback is crucial to successful relationships in all areas of life. Do not criticise people unconstructively, or condemn them, or complain about them. As humans, we don’t like to admit fault! When people are criticised, they often become defensive. Always give an honest and sincere appreciation to them for a job well done, when they have done well. Finally, you must do well to align your desire to get something from them, within their own needs; that way, you can all mutually achieve your goals.
To make people warm up to you, you have to genuinely be interested in them, and in their needs. It is also a good idea to remember to smile at people! Show people just how much you value them by remembering their names. For people to like you, you just have to learn to be a good listener. Talk about the things that interest the other person the most. That way, you would actually find your way into their hearts. Finally, to get people to like you, you have to sincerely make them feel important. Treat them the way you would like others to treat you.
One of my favourite Carnegie quotes is ‘You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.’
To get people to see things from your point of view, avoid getting into arguments with them. You also have to respect the other person’s perspective, their model of the world. When you make a mistake, admit that you are wrong as quickly as possible, as when we admit that we are wrong people trust us more. Always begin a conversation in a friendly way, even if you are upset. Learn to ask of others questions that they would likely give an affirmative answer to. Allow people to do more of the talking in a conversation. Allow the other persons to feel like the idea is theirs. Honestly see things from the perspective of the other person. Learn to be sympathetic with people’s desires, feelings and ideas. Appeal to the nobility in people. Make your ideas vivid and interesting to people by sharing stories. Give people worthy challenges, people love the game! When a challenge is thrown down, people love rising to that challenge.
Appreciate and praise people’s good deeds. Learn to indirectly call people’s attention to their errors by talking first about your own mistakes before starting to criticise others. Ask people questions, instead of firing direct orders at them. Learn to allow others (even your employees) to save face in the presence of other people. When people make improvements, please praise and appreciate them for their efforts. Give people a worthy reputation (in you) to emulate. Encourage people, even if a task seems daunting. Make other people feel good by doing what you want them to do for you.
By learning these ideas and implementing them in your daily life, you will find you quickly create better relationships and become a leader in your life and the lives of those around you. We take a look at ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ at Entrepreneur Now as it is a great tool for creating relationships and sales, I highly recommend adding a copy to your personal development library.
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