“How to Win Friends and Influence People” is a must for every social being. And the reality is that we are all social beings by nature. In this best seller, the American author, Dale Carnegie, shares the principles to improve our relationships with others, make more friends and be more influential.
The book is made up of four parts:
Part 1: Fundamental Techniques for Dealing with Others
Part 2: Six Ways to Like Others
Part 3: Make Others Think Like You
Part 4: Nine Tips to Be a Leader: How to Change Others Without Offending Them or Arousing Resentment
1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
Carnegie states that it is useless to criticize or repress others because this puts people on the defensive and his first reaction is to try to justify himself, because the person who does wrong tends to blame everyone but himself.
Criticism is dangerous because:
“A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats others.” –Thomas Carlyle
The resentment that criticism generates can demoralize employees, family members, and friends; and worst of all is that even then it is not possible to correct the situation that has been criticized.
The only thing that can be obtained as a result of criticism is that they obey reluctantly.
So, what is the correct way to correct others? Instead of resorting to criticism, you can make a suggestion and explain why or how the other person will benefit from it.
Instead of censoring people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s imagine why they do what they do. That is much more helpful and interesting than criticism; and from it arises sympathy, tolerance and kindness.
“Any fool can criticize, censor and complain, and almost everyone does. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving. ” –Dale Carnegie
Carnegie explains that there is only one way to get someone to do something: to make them want to do it.
The deepest drive in human nature is the desire to be important, that longing to be appreciated.
That same desire makes the richest men in each city build a house that is too large for their needs. This desire makes us all pretend to dress in the latest fashions, drive the coolest car, and talk about how smart our children are.
Even many people who go mad find in dementia that sense of its importance that they could not obtain in reality (No. It is not something exclusive to Don Quixote).
If some people are so thirsty for importance that they even go crazy, imagine the miracles you can achieve by giving others an honest appreciation of their importance!
Carnegie in turn quotes Schwab, who emphasized “being warm in your approval of others and generous in your praise.”
Believe it or not, a sincere appreciation can change a person’s life.
The author emphasizes that it is not the same to make a sincere appreciation than to flatter (or as we say colloquially in Mexico, “make the beard”). Flattery does more harm than good. Flattery is false and not sincere like appreciation.
“Honest appreciation works where criticism and ridicule have failed.” –Dale Carnegie
If we stop thinking about ourselves for a while and start thinking about the good qualities of the other, we will not have to resort to flattery.
“Every man I know is superior to me in some way. In that sense, I learn from him. ” –Ralph Emerson
If you have something nice to say to a person, say it! Because if it remains only a thought, it will never see the light nor will it be able to draw a smile on its face.
Why talk about what we need or want?
That is childish and absurd.
It is obvious that you are interested in what YOU need or want. But the reality is that nobody else cares because they are interested in what they themselves want or need.
That said, Dale Carnegie explains that then, the only way we have to influence the other person is precisely to talk about what he or she wants and show them how to get it.
Carnegie gives a very clear example: if you don’t want a child to smoke, don’t talk to him about what you want; Show him that cigarettes can affect his physical performance and his results on the school sports team.
So think about what the other person likes or is interested in. Ask yourself:
What is he going to gain by doing what I want him to do?
How can I link what I want with what the other wants? (Explain how it can be beneficial or useful)
“If there is a secret to success, it lies in the ability to appreciate the point of view of others and see things from that point of view as well as your own.” –Henry Ford
However, the author emphasizes that both parties in the negotiation must win.
Seeing from the other person’s point of view and awakening in that person a fervent desire for something, should not be confused with manipulating that person into doing something to the detriment of your own interests.
When we have a brilliant idea, instead of making the other person think it is ours, why not let them prepare that idea in their mind for themselves? Then you will consider that the idea is yours and that way you will like it more.
1. Take a sincere interest in others
Did you know that you can win more friends in two months by being genuinely interested in others than you could in two years by getting others to care in you?
If we just try to impress people by talking about ourselves and doing our best to get them interested in our lives, sadly we will never have sincere friends. Loyal friends are not made that way.
Dale Carnegie makes a very particular call that we never forget that a genuine interest in the other person is the most important quality we can have as leaders, salespeople, friends, parents, etc.
If we want to have friends, let’s dedicate ourselves to doing things for others. Things that require time, energy, and altruism.
“We care about others when they care about us.” –Publilio Syro
Similarly, it is important to emphasize that the interest in the other must be sincere. This means that you should pay dividends not only for the person who shows the interest, but also for the recipient.
Actions speak louder than words. A smile expresses: “I like you. You make me happy. And I’m glad to see you. ”
The effect of a smile is powerful… People – both known and unknown – generally smile back. They are contagious!
But … what to do when you don’t feel like smiling? Try to smile! Proceed as if you are really happy, and believe it or not, that will help make you feel happy.
“Almost all people are as happy as they make up their minds to be” -Abraham Lincoln
Regarding this, the late Professor William James said:
“Action seems to follow feeling, but in reality action and feeling go together; and if action is regulated, which is under the most direct control of the will, we can regulate feeling, which is not ”.
Proceed with joy. Act with joy. And speak with joy. As if it were already in you and you will see that you will feel that way.
The author explains that happiness does not depend on external conditions, it depends on internal conditions: on what we think.
“Nothing is good or bad, but thought is what makes things good or bad.” -William Shakespeare
The value of the smile costs nothing but creates a lot. It enriches those who receive it, without impoverishing those who give it.
Remembering a person’s name and pronouncing it frequently is to pay a subtle and effective compliment to its owner.
Believe it or not, people do attach great importance to their own names.
However, most do not remember the names of others for the simple reason that they do not spend the time and energy necessary to concentrate and repeat the names until they are etched in their memory. And they apologize saying that they are too busy. But surely, they are no busier than the former president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who spent a lot of time remembering even the names of the mechanics with whom he came into contact.
We should keep in mind the magic behind a name. Understand that it is your own and exclusive to that person, and no one else. The name sets the individual apart; makes you feel unique among all the others.
So when you announce something, convey certain information, or ask someone else a question, be sure to add their name first.
Listening is as important in everyday life as it is in the business world. Even the most critical and violent person will be appeased by being with a listener who shows patience and sympathy: one listener who is silent while the other squirms with anger like a cobra and takes all the poison out of his system.
And although sometimes we are tempted to interrupt, it is better to let him talk and talk … until it is exhausted. And when he finally calms down and has a better face, now, tell him what you think in a cordial way and without exalting you as he or she did.
Remember that responding to hatred, with more hatred, leads nowhere .
How can you be a good listener? It’s simple: encouraging people to talk about themselves. Letting the interlocutor speak without interrupting him.
People prefer good listeners to good conversationalists, but the ability to listen seems rarer than any other human quality.
Sometimes all a person wants is a friendly, supportive listener to get their ideas out of. That is often what the irritated customer, dissatisfied employee, or disgruntled friend wants.
We tend to think that being a good conversationalist is having topics of conversation, but in reality, it is talking about what the other is interested in.
In other words, the royal road to the heart of the other is to talk to them about the things that are most precious to them. Speaking in terms of the other person’s interests is beneficial to both parties. So if you are going to make a request, make it in terms of what the other person is interested in, not you.
In this sense, you may need to educate yourself on the subject that interests that person.
For example, instead of saying to a client: “Can you give me a job?” it will be better if you say something like “I think I can make your company meet X objectives for this, this and that” …
Think what is there in the other person that can be admired sincerely and honestly … And do not expect anything in return.
The desire to be important is the deepest urge that animates human character, that longing to be appreciated. The urge to be important is what sets us apart from animals. The momentum that has given rise to civilization itself.
Dale Carnegie clearly says: “If we are so despicable, selfish, that we cannot radiate some happiness and pay honest praise, without trying to get something in return; if our souls are so small, we will go to failure, to a deserved failure. ”
Although it may seem insignificant, saying something good and sincere to someone can make their day, and sometimes even change their perspective on yourself.
Why save a positive comment if you can make someone else happy?
If you notice that someone lacks a smile on their face, then put it on with a sincere compliment.
Even insignificant phrases like “I’m sorry to bother you, but …”, “I’m sorry to bother you …”, “Could you please …”, “Thank you very much”, “I really appreciate it”. These kinds of little courtesies serve to oil the wheels of the monotonous mechanism of daily life and are also the sign of good manners.
There is only one way to get the best part out of an argument: by avoiding it.
Carnegie always recommends avoiding the sharpest angle, because 9 times out of 10, when an argument is over, both parties are more convinced than ever that reason is on their side.
The author considers that it is not possible to win an argument because:
If it is lost, well, it was lost.
But even if you win, there is nothing good in making the other person feel inferior by showing them that you were wrong. His pride is wounded and, as we have already mentioned, a man convinced against his will continues and will continue to be of the same opinion.
Benjamin Franklin said it better than anyone:
“If you argue, and fight and contradict, you can sometimes achieve a victory; but it will be an empty triumph because he will never obtain the good will of the opponent. ” -Benjamin Franklin
What do you prefer: an academic, theatrical victory, or the good will of a man? (Because you will rarely get both)
Now let’s see, what can you do when faced with an argument?
Better to avoid it.
Control your character. Listen first. Give the opponent a chance to speak and let him finish. Don’t interrupt, defend, or argue while he is at it, because that will only raise barriers. Try to build bridges of understanding.
Look for the areas where you and he agree or where you can agree, and when your opponent has finished his point of view, first state the points or areas that you both agree on .
Be honest or honest. Find the points where you can admit your mistake if there was one and apologize for it. That will disarm your opponent and reduce his defensive attitude.
Make an effort to carefully analyze your opponent’s ideas, because just as you have been right, he or she may be right on that occasion as well.
Sincerely thank your opponents for their interest and for expressing their feelings. Make friends with your opponents!
“Hatred is never conquered by hatred but by love.” -Buddha
And finally, it is important that you propose the action or resolution of the problem so that both sides have time to rethink the problem. You can suggest holding another meeting later that day, or the next day, to present new data. As you prepare for this meeting, ask yourself:
When you think that others are not right, you do not gain anything by making it obvious. Why? Because when you tell a person that they are wrong, it is very difficult for them to admit it because you have dealt a direct blow to their intelligence, their judgment, their pride and their self-respect. And this will only make you want to hit back, but NEVER want to change your mind.
In other words, when you contradict someone, even if you show all the logic of Plato or Kant, you will not alter their opinions because you have hurt their feelings.
Never start by saying “I’m going to show you such and such.” That’s wrong because it’s like saying, “I’m more alive than you. I’m going to say one or two things and make you change your mind. ” This is basically like a challenge; it stirs up opposition and makes the listener want to fight a battle with you.
The resentment that arouses when someone expresses doubt about our opinions leads us to look for all kinds of excuses to cling to them.
Most of what we call reasoning consists of finding arguments to continue believing what we believe.
Depending on the strength of your attack, the other person will respond with equal strength.
Carnegie advises that if you are going to prove something, it is best if no one else knows. Do it subtly, with such dexterity that no one thinks you are doing it.
“Men must be taught as if they were not taught, and ignored things proposed to them as if they were forgotten.” –Alexander Pope
“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find the answer within himself. ” -Galileo Galilei
How could you tell someone who is wrong or wrong in a nicer, or at least, cordial way?
Suppose someone makes a statement that in your opinion is wrong – even if you know it is wrong – it is better to start by saying something like “Okay, listen. I think otherwise, but maybe I am wrong; I am wrong so often… And if I am wrong, I want to know and correct my mistake. Let’s see the facts and see what they are trying to tell us … ”
There is something magically positive in phrases like: “Maybe I’m wrong” or “I’m wrong so often …”
This will stop the arguments and awaken in the other person the desire to be as fair and equanimous as you and will open the bridges where he or she also considers the possibility of being wrong.
It prohibits the use of those words or expressions that denote a fixed opinion such as: “by the way”, “undoubtedly”, etc. and better adopt others that denote humility such as: “I believe”, “I understand” or “I imagine” that something is like that or azá; or “so it seems to me at the moment.”
When expressions that denote humility are used, instead of aggressiveness, a faster reception and less contradiction on the part of the other is achieved.
It even works sometimes to ask them where they think they have problems, and to discuss each point asking for their opinions on possible ways to proceed. With the occasional suggestion thrown here and there, you will let them present your system or solution themselves. In the end, you state your idea and since it is convergent to the point where you took them previously, they will most likely accept it. In this sense, it is important to listen first because from there you get the guideline so that their points end up leading to your idea and feel that it was theirs, and consequently, obtain their full acceptance.
The point is that your ideas, opinions or points of view are complementary to theirs, and not opposites. And, of course, to give them the respective credit
You will see that being a little tactful and refraining from telling the other person that they are wrong can bring huge benefits.
There is nothing wrong with saying, “I am guilty. I have no excuses or apologies”.
When a person wants to censor us or make us see that we are acting badly and instead of debating him we begin to self-condemn our own behavior, we can even cause an opposite reaction of acceptance and forgiveness.
Besides, if we know that anyway – sooner or later – our mistake is going to be proven, isn’t it much better to win the lead and admit it on our own? Isn’t it much easier to hear criticism from our lips than censure from other people’s lips?
Humility is always much more admired than arrogance. We are human and we are wrong.
When you admit your mistakes, the other person will most likely assume a generous, forgiving attitude, and try to downplay the mistake.
There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit your mistakes. Not only does it clear the air of guilt and defensiveness, but it often helps solve the problem created by the mistake.
As Dale Carnegie comments, any fool can try to defend his mistakes – and almost all fools do – but he is above the rest and assumes a feeling of nobility and exaltation who admits his own mistakes.
So if you’re wrong the best thing you can do is admit it quickly and emphatically. This is the best way to disarm the other person.
Let’s remember the old proverb:
“Fighting never gets enough but giving in gets more than expected.”
If a man’s heart is full of discord and bad feelings against you, you will not be able to attract him to your way of thinking or with all the logic of creation.
Nobody likes to change their mind.
If you want to win an adept to your cause, you must first convince him that you are a sincere friend.
Some expressions that will make them feel that they are good people and that you are not imposing your opinion are: “It is up to you to consider”, “Maybe this is worth thinking about, friends”, “Here are some facts that I hope will not be lost sight of. , my dear “, or ” You, gentlemen, with your knowledge of human character, will easily see the meaning of these facts . ”
Starting with a positive intervention builds bridges.
For this reason, Carnegie suggests starting first by saying positive attributes to the other person that make them think that you are in their favor and that, despite what happened, you appreciate them.
Kindness, kindness, and appreciation to others can change your mind faster than all the scolding and threats in the world.
Carnegie bases this strategy on the Socratic method. When you talk to someone, don’t start by discussing things that you disagree on, but rather by finding, detecting, and highlighting the points that you have in common or that you both agree on.
Have the other person say “yes,” “yes,” and then “yes” from the beginning. Avoid, if possible, her saying “no.”
Saying “yes” so many times makes the other person feel committed and with the need to remain congruent with their previous yeses.
It is worth mentioning that this principle of congruence is also mentioned in the book that encompasses the 7 Principles of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.
The skilled speaker manages to get a series of yeses from the beginning. With this, the organism enters an attitude of positive, acceptable and open movement. In this way, we are more likely to attract the attention of the interlocutor to accept our proposition.
When we try to make others think like us, we talk too much.
Salespeople, especially, are addicted to this costly mistake.
Let the other person speak. Let’s ask him questions! Let me explain a few things to us.
And even if we disagree with her or may be tempted to interrupt her, let’s not do it, because she won’t pay attention to us anyway while she still has a number of ideas of her own in her head that demand to come to light. Let us listen with patience and equanimity.
Letting the other person talk is of great help both in family situations and in business.
We all have things to say, and we are more excited about talking about them than listening to each other. So, when you do chat with someone, ask them to share their joys with you and only mention yours if they ask.
It takes great skill for the other person to think that the idea was theirs and that no one else has sold it to them. How to do it? Make it known to him in passing, but get him interested in it, so that he will come up with that idea on his own.
Don’t try to convince them, let them decide for themselves.
Twenty-five centuries ago, the Chinese sage Lao Tse said:
The reason rivers and seas are honored by a hundred mountain streams is that they remain below them. Thus, they are able to reign over all the mountain streams. Similarly, the wise man who knows how to be above men places himself below them; whoever wants to be in front of them, stands behind. Although their place is above men, they do not feel their weight; even if your place is in front of them, they don’t take it as an insult.
Remember that the other person may be completely wrong. But she doesn’t believe it. Do not censor it. Better try to understand it. Only clever, tolerant, and exceptional people do this.
Carnegie emphasizes that there is always a reason why the other person thinks and acts as they do. Find out what that hidden reason is and you will have the key to their actions, perhaps even to their personality.
Try honestly to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, which we commonly known as empathy . Try to know their interests and motives before engaging in a conversation.
Ask yourself: “What would I think or how would I react if I were in their shoes?”
This will save you a lot of irritation time, because when we investigate the causes, we are less likely to dislike the defects.
Success in dealing with others depends on being sympathetic to the other person’s point of view.
“You cooperate effectively in conversation when you show that you consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as important as your own.” –Gerald S. Nirenberg
Wouldn’t you like to have a magic phrase that will help you stop arguing, eliminate bad feelings, create goodwill, and get people to listen to you attentively?
Well, you are about to meet her. He begins by saying, “I can’t blame you for feeling the way you feel because if I were in his shoes, there is no doubt that I would feel the same way.” A phrase like this will soften the other person.
Appeal to the noblest motives, to love.
Dale Carnegie shares some examples of how appealing to nobler motives – rather than merely personal – works best.
He gives the example of Lord Northcliffe who did not want a photograph of himself to be published in newspapers, so instead of writing a letter to the editor of the newspaper saying: “Please do not publish that photograph any more, I do not like it” , He appealed to a nobler motive: the respect and love that we all have for our mother. So he wrote: “Please do not republish that photograph of me. My mother doesn’t like it. ”
Or when John D. Rockefeller Jr. wanted newspaper photographers not to take pictures of his children, he also appealed to the noblest motives. He did not say: “I do not want your photographs published. ” No. He appealed to the desire, which we all have deep down, to refrain from harming children. He told them: “You know how these things are. Some of you also have children. And they know that it is not good for children to enjoy too much publicity. ”
Dramatization, whether we like it or not, well done, attracts attention and helps ideas to be better communicated.
Ideas can be dramatized in business or in any other area of ??life.
Dale Carnegie in turn quoted Charles Schwab, who said:
The way to get things done is to stimulate competition. I’m not talking about the sordid, monetary stimulus, but about the desire to excel.
First the good.
Giving feedback beginning with praise is doing like the dentist who begins his work with anesthesia. All the necessary work is done on the patient, but the drug has already desensitized the pain.
In line with the previous point, many believe that it is effective to start any criticism with a sincere praise followed by the word “but …” and then to introduce the criticism.
However, this only makes the other person happy until the moment they hear the dreaded word “but.” At that precise moment he will question the sincerity of the praise since he will feel it as a trick to be able to smuggle the criticism. We are not stupid!
When we do this, credibility is reduced, and it is most likely that we will not be able to change the attitude or behavior of the other person.
This could be avoided by changing the word “but” to “and”.
The author provides the example of parents saying to their son, ” We are really proud of you, Johnnie, for improving your grades this month, and if you keep trying, you can raise your algebra grades to the level of the rest. ” What they wanted to tell you is that you need to improve your algebra grades, but the way they say it gives you that congratulatory touch, and still seeds that little bit of motivation so that your grades in that particular subject are just as good.
It is much easier to criticize others than to criticize ourselves.
An effective way to point out mistakes in others and not take it the wrong way is to start by talking about your own shortcomings. Admitting your own mistakes – even after you’ve corrected them – can help convince the other to change their behavior and do the same.
It is not so difficult to listen when someone talks to us about our mistakes if the person who does so begins by humbly admitting that he or she is also far from perfect.
Similarly, when you want to make someone else notice an error, you can use suggestive phrases instead of imperatives, such as: “But, don’t you think it would have been better to do this in this or that way?” Or “How are you going to do it next time?”
Asking questions rather than ordering not only makes orders more acceptable, but it also often stimulates the creativity of the person being asked.
People are more likely to accept an order if they have taken part in the decision from which the order emanated.
You can ask them something like: What do you think of this? What do you think could be a better alternative to this? Do you think that if we corrected it in this way, it could work better?
Let them think that they proposed it themselves!
As we have seen previously, we do not gain anything by showing the other’s mistake. Although we are right and it is more than conclusive that the other person is wrong, the only thing that will happen is that we will hurt him by making him lose his prestige.
Carnegie quotes the legendary writer and aviation pioneer, A. De Saint Exupéry who said:
“I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man to himself. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. To hurt a man in his dignity is a crime. ” -TO. By Saint Exupér
A true leader will always allow the other person to save his own prestige.
When we train a puppy to do certain tricks, we use dog treats every time he does something well so that he will continue to do it and learn.
Why then do we not use the same common sense when we try to change something in people as when we try to change dogs? Why don’t we use candy instead of a whip? Why don’t we turn to praise instead of censure?
Let’s praise even the slightest improvement! This makes others want to keep improving.
It does not like to be praised. But beware, when the compliment is not specific and becomes very vague or general, it is not perceived as sincere, but as something that the other person is saying just to make us feel good.
Let’s remember: We all crave appreciation and recognition, and we could do almost anything to achieve it. But nobody wants lies or flattery.
If you want a person to improve in a certain sense, proceed as if that particular trait were already one of the salient characteristics of their personality.
When we give someone a good reputation to maintain, they will do their best not to disprove it and for it to prevail.
The saying goes: “Raise fame and go to sleep.” Let’s make others famous and see what happens.
Shakespeare said: “Assume a virtue if you don’t have it”
For example, if you see that a successful worker suddenly begins to fail, we could say something like: “Miguel, I have seen that you have the potential to reach sales figures like no one else has. I’m not worried that right now your numbers are not as high as they were last period, because we all have ups and downs, and I know that at the end of the day you are creative and strategic enough to continue being our best salesperson. And I just wanted to tell you that I’m proud of you. ”
Compare this with having repressed and humiliated him in front of the other members of his team with a: “You are no longer reaching your numbers Miguel, watch out …” Obviously, while a reaction sets high standards and motivates the employee to comply with what is expected of yes, the other does nothing but demoralize him …
If we are liberal in the way of encouraging; if we make things seem easy to do; If we let the other person understand that we have faith in their ability to make them come true, we will see them practice until dawn, in order to improve themselves.
For example, someone who has just started dance classes and thinks they are a basket case, there is nothing like encouraging them by saying “Hey, I saw that you have a natural sense of rhythm. This is going to be very good for you … ”
Or someone who is learning to play canasta (card game) and feels somewhat overwhelmed with the rules of the game, we can say: “The canasta will be very easy for you. You have all the conditions to play it: you are attentive, observant, you have a good memory. You will see.”.
It is incredible what a person can achieve when you dedicate time and believe in them.
9. Make sure the other person feels satisfied doing what you suggest
What can you do when you don’t want to do what another person asks you to do, but you don’t want to hurt their feelings by telling them that you won’t?
Pst! By the way, you may be interested in this post: How to say “NO” without feeling guilty or hurting others?
Carnegie uses as an example a man who had declined many invitations to speak in public and give lectures, even invitations from his closest friends!
He says that he did it with such skill that others were even happy with the refusal. How did you get it? He didn’t tell them it was because he was too busy or because he didn’t have time. First, he was grateful for the invitation and regretted the possibility of not being able to accept it. But then he would suggest a speaker who could replace him. Thus, he did not give the others an opportunity to feel angry with the refusal, but rather thought about contacting the replacement speaker.