Summary from How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I read this book recently and I thought it was a beautiful reminder especially for those who want to know how to understand people and how to get along with them. Aren’t we all interested in how to make people like us and how to win others to our way of thinking? This kind of education, states Carnegie, is the ability to meet life’s situations, for the great aim of education is not knowledge but action. Knowledge that is used sticks to the mind and I hope these fundamentals in handling people will help you to be a better person:
1. Don’t criticise, condemn or complain
It is easier to find praise than to find fault. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t criticise 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 or her strive to justify themselves. Criticism is dangerous because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance and arouses resentment.
“Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof,” said Confucius, “when your own doorstep is unclean.”
Many fools can criticise, condemn and complain and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving. ‘A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.’
2. Give honest and sincere appreciation
The greatest asset a person can possess is the ability to arouse enthusiasm and to develop the best in others by appreciation and encouragement. The difference between appreciation and flattery is simple. One is sincere the other is not. One comes from the heart out, the other teeth out. One is unselfish, the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.
“Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of friends who flatter you.”
Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he thinks about himself. Finally, be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise, and people will cherish your words and treasure them.
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want
The only way to influence people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it. Tomorrow you may want to persuade someone and before you speak ask yourself, “How can I make this person want to do it?”.
“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.
In Conclusion, when we have a brilliant idea, instead of making others think it is ours, why not let them cook and stir the idea themselves. They will regard it as their own, they will like it and maybe eat a couple of helpings from it.