“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

8 Things This Book Will Help You Achieve:

  1. Get out of a mental rut, think new thoughts, acquire new visions, discover new ambitions.
  2. Make friends quickly and easily.
  3. Increase your popularity.
  4. Win people to your way of thinking.
  5. Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done.
  6. Handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
  7. Become a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
  8. Arouse enthusiasm among your associates.

Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

1. “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive”

  • 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.
  • By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur 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.
  • That was the most lurid personal incident in Lincoln’s life (referring to his duel with the politician James Shields in 1842). It taught him an invaluable lesson in the art of dealing with people. Never again did he write an insulting letter. Never again did he ridicule anyone. And from that time on, he almost never criticized anybody for anything.
  • Lincoln, “with malice toward none, with charity for all,” held his peace. One of his favorite quotations was “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
  • Lincoln replied: “Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.”
  • “Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof,” said Confucius, “when your own doorstep is unclean.”
  • Benjamin Franklin said, “I will speak ill of no man…and speak all the good I know of everybody.”
  • Any fool can criticize, 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,” Carlyle said, “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 all is to forgive all.”
  • As Dr. Johnson said: “God himself, sir, does not propose judgement until the end of his days.” Why should you and I?
  • Principle 1: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

2. The Big Secret of Dealing with People

  • There is only one way under heaven to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.
  • Sigmund Freud said that everything 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.”
  • Lincoln once began a letter saying: “Everybody likes a compliment.”
  • William James said: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
  • The desire for a feeling of importance is one of the chief in distinguishing differences between mankind and the animals.
  • If you tell me how you get your feelings of importance, I’ll tell you what you are.
  • Some authorities declare that people may actually go insane in order to find, in the dreamland of insanity, the feeling of importance that has been denied them in the harsh world of reality.
  • “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people, “said Schwab, “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.”
  • Andrew Carnegie’s tombstone says: “Here lies one who knew how to get around him men who were cleverer than himself.”
  • When a study was made a few years ago on runaway wives, what do you think was discovered to be the main reason wives ran away? It was “lack of appreciation.”
  • We nourish the bodies of our children and friends and employees, but how seldom do we nourish their self-esteem? We provide them with roast beef and potatoes to build energy, but we neglect to give them kind words or appreciation that would sing in their memories for years like the music of the morning stars.
  • In the long run, flattery will do you more harm than good. Flattery is counterfeit, and like counterfeit money, it will eventually get you into trouble if you pass it to someone else.
  • King George V had a set of six maxims displayed on the walls of his study at Buckingham Palace. One of the maxims said: “Teach me neither to proffer no receive cheap praise.” That’s all flattery is — cheap praise.
  • Now, if we stop thinking about ourselves for a while and begin to think of the other person’s good points, we won’t have to resort to flattery so cheap and false that it can be spotted almost before it is out of the mouth.
  • Try leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily trips. You will be surprised how they will set small flames of friendship that will be rose beacons on your next visit.
  • Emerson said, “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
  • Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points. Then forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,” and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime — repeat them years after you have forgotten them.
  • Principle 2: Give honest, sincere appreciation.

3. “He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”

  • Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. Or 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.
  • So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
  • Every act you have ever performed since the day you were born was performed because you wanted something.
  • Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do something. 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,” 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.”
  • 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.
  • Professor Overstreet’s wise advice: First, arouse in the other person and eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.
  • William Winter once remarked that” self-expression is the dominant necessity of human nature.” Why can’t we adapt this same psychology 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. They will then regard it as their own; they will like it and maybe eat a couple of helpings of it.
  • Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You

1. Do This and You’ll Be Welcome Anywhere

  • Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn’t have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.
  • 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.
  • The New York Telephone Company made a detailed study of telephone conversations to find out which word is the most frequently used. You have guessed it: it is the personal pronoun “I.” It was used 3,900 times in 500 telephone conversations.
  • Alfred Adler wrote: “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.”
  • Famous Magician Howard Thurston said that every time he went on stage he said to himself: “I am grateful because these people come to see me. They make it possible for me to make my living in a very agreeable way. I’m going to give them the very best I possibly can.” He declared he never stepped in front of the footlights without first saying to himself over and over: “I love my audience. I love my audience.”
  • I have discovered from personal experience that 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.
  • If we want to make friends, let’s greet people with animation and enthusiasm.
  • A hundred years before Christ was born, Publilius Syrus, remarked: “We are interested in others when they are interested in us.”
  • Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people.

2. A Simple Way to Make a Good First Impression

  • Actions speak louder than words and a smile says, “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.”
  • An insincere grin? No. That doesn’t fool anybody. We know it is mechanical and we resent it.
  • Professor McConnell said, “People who smile, tend to manage, teach 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 a smile is powerful — even when it is unseen. Telephone companies throughout the United States have a program called “phone power” which is offered to employees who use the telephone for selling their services or products. In this program they suggest that you smile when talking on the phone. Your “smile” comes through in your voice.
  • You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you.
  • “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…”
  • 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.
  • “There is nothing either good or bad,” said Shakespeare, “but thinking makes it so.”
  • Abe Lincoln once remarked that, “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
  • Chinese proverb: “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”
  • Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it.
  • Principle 2: Smile.

3. If You Don’t Do This You Are Headed for Trouble

  • Jim Farley discovered early in life that the average person is more interested in his or her own name 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.
  • People are so proud of their names that they strive to perpetuate them at any cost.
  • For centuries, nobles and magnates supported artists, musicians and authors so that their creative works would be dedicated to them.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that one of the simplest, most obvious and most important ways of gaining good will was by remembering names and making people feel important — yet how many of us do it?
  • 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.
  • All this takes time, but “Good manners,” said Emerson, “are made up of petty sacrifices.”
  • Principle 3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

4. An Easy Way to Become A Good Conversationalist

  • I had listened because I was genuinely interested. And he felt it. Naturally that pleased him. That kind of listening is one of the highest compliments we can pay anyone.
  • Harvard President 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 so flattering as that.”
  • The chronic kicker, even the most violent critic, will frequently soften and be subdued in the presence of a patient, sympathetic listener — a listener who will be silent while the irate fault-finder dilates like a king cobra and spews the poison out of his system.
  • If you want to know how to make people shun you and laugh at you behind your back and even despise you, here is the recipe: Never listen to anyone for long. Talk incessantly about yourself. If you have an idea while the other person is talking, don’t wait for him or her to finish: bust right in and interrupt in the middle of a sentence.
  • People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves. And “those people who think only of themselves,” Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, longtime president of Columbia University, said, “are hopelessly uneducated. They are not educated,” said Dr. Butler, “no matter how instructed they may be.”
  • So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other personas 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 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

5. How to Interest People

  • Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject which he knew his guest was particularly interested. For Roosevelt knew, as all leaders know, that the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most.
  • Talking in terms of the other person’s interest pays off for both parties. Howard Z. Herzig, a leader in the field of employee communications, has always followed this principle. When asked what reward he got from it, Mr. Herzig responded that he not only received a different reward from each person but that in general the reward had been an enlargement of his life each time he spoke to someone.
  • Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

6. How to Make People Like You Instantly

  • I got the feeling that I had done something for him without his being able to do anything whatever in return for me. That is a feeling that flows and sings in your memory long after the incident is past.
  • There is one all-important law of human conduct. If we obey that law, we shall almost never get into trouble. In fact, that law, if obeyed, will bring us countless friends and constant happiness. But the very instant we break the law, we shall get into endless trouble. The law is this: Always make the other person feel important.
  • The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Obey it all the time, everywhere.
  • 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 life of many a person could probably be changed if only someone would make him feel important.
  • 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.
  • And the pathetic part of it is that frequently those who have the least justification for a feeling of achievement bolster up their egos by a show of tumult and conceit which is truly nauseating. As Shakespeare but put: “… man, proud man, /Drest in a little brief authority,/…Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven/As make the angels weep.”
  • “Talk to people about themselves,” said Disraeli, one of the shrewdest men who ever ruled the British Empire. “Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours.”
  • Principle 6: Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely.

Part Three: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

1. You Can’t Win an Argument

  • I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument — and that is to avoid it.
  • Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each of the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right.
  • A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.
  • Ban Franklin said, “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.”
  • Buddha said, “Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love,” and misunderstanding is never ended by an argument but by tact, diplomacy, conciliation and a sympathetic desire to see the other person’s viewpoint.
  • Suggestions from an article in ‘Bits and Pieces’: Welcome the disagreement. Distrust your first instinctive impression. Control your temper. Listen first. Look for areas of agreement. Be honest. Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully. Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem.
  • Opera tenor Jan Peerce, after he was married nearly fifty years, once said: “My wife and I made a pact a long time ago, and we’ve kept it no matter how angry we’ve grown with each other. When one yells, the other should listen — because when two people yell, there is no communication, just noise and bad vibrations.”
  • Principle 1: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

2. A Sure Way of Making Enemies — And How to Avoid It

  • If you’re going to prove anything, don’t let anybody know it. Do it so subtly, so adroitly, that no one will feel that you are doing it.
  • Alexander Pope: “Men must be taught as if you taught them not, and things unknown proposed as things forgot.”
  • Galileo: “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself.”
  • Lord Chesterfield: “Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.”
  • Socrates: “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.”
  • There’s magic, postitive magic, in such phrases as: “I may be wrong. I frequently am. 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 broad minded as you are. It will make him want to admit that he, too, may be wrong.
  • 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.
  • “I made it a rule,” said Franklin, “to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiment of others, and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbade myself the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fix’d opinion, such as ‘certainly,’ ‘undoubtedly,’ etc…”
  • Two thousand years ago, Jesus said: “Agree with thine adversary quickly.”
  • 2,200 years before Christ, King Akhtoi said, “Be diplomatic, it will help you gain your point.”
  • Principle 2: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”

3. If You’re Wrong, Admit It

  • 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? Isn’t it much easier to listen to self-criticism than to bear condemnation from alien lips?
  • 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.
  • 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 the error.
  • Any 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.
  • When we are right, let’s try to win people gently and tactfully to our way of thinking, and when we are wrong — and that will be surprisingly often, if we are honest with ourselves — let’s admit our mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm. Not only will that technique produce astonishing results; but, believe it or not, it is a lot more fun, under the circumstances, than trying to defend one-self.
  • Remember the old proverb: “By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.”
  • Principle 4: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

4. A Drop of Honey

  • “If you come at me with your fists doubled,” said Woodrow Wilson, “I think I can promise you that mine will double as fast as yours; but if you come to me and say, ‘Let us sit down and take counsel together, and, if we differ from each other, understand why it is that we differ, just what the points at issue are,’ we will presently find that we are not so far apart after all, that the points on which we differ are few and the points on which we agree are many, and that if we only have the patience and the candor and the desire to get together, we will get together.”
  • If a man’s heart is rankling with discord and ill feeling toward you, you can’t win him to your way of thinking with all the logic in Christendom. Scolding parents and domineering bosses and husbands and nagging wives ought to realize that people don’t want to change their minds. They can’t be forced or driven to agree with you or me. But they may possibly be led to, if we are gentle and friendly, ever so gentle and ever so friendly.
  • Lincoln said, “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 your 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.”
  • The sun can make you take off your coat more quickly than the 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 4: Begin in a friendly way.

5. The Secret of Socrates

  • Get the other person saying “Yes, yes” at the outset. Keep your opponent, if possible, from saying “No.”
  • A “No” response, according to Professor Overstreet, is the most difficult handicap to overcome. When you have said “No,” all your pride of personality demands that you remain consistent with yourself.
  • 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. There is, usually in minute but sometimes in observable degree, a physical withdrawal or readiness for withdrawal. The whole neuromuscular system, in short, sets itself on guard against acceptance.
  • 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.
  • The “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.
  • Chinese proverb: “He who treads softly goes far.”
  • Principle 5: Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.

6. The Safety Valve In Handling Complaints

  • 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. Let them tell you a few things.
  • If you disagree with them 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.
  • Even our friends would much rather talk to us about their achievements than listen to us boast about ours.
  • When our friends excel us, they feel important; but when we excel them, they — or at least some of them — will feel inferior and envious.
  • Principle 6: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

7. How to Get Cooperation

  • No one likes 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 wishes, our wants, our thoughts.
  • Principle 7: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

8. A Formila That Will Work Wonders for You

  • 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.
  • “by becoming interested in the cause, we are less likely to dislike the effect.”
  • Dr. Gerald S. Nirenberg: “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 Harvard Business School: “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 8: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

9. What Everybody Wants

  • Wouldn’t you like to have a magic phrase that would stop arguments, eliminate ill feeling, create good will, and make the other person listen attentively?
  • Here it 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 thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you.
  • Dr. Arthur I Gates: “Sympathy the human specieis 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 cruises, relate their accidents, illness, especially details of surgical operations. ‘Self-pity’ for misfortunes real or imaginery is, in some measure, practically a universal practice.”
  • Principle 9: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

10. An Appeal That Everyone Likes

  • The fact is that all people you meet have a high regard for themselves and like to be fine and unselfish in their own estimation.
  • So, in order to change people, appeal to the nobler motives.
  • People are honest and want to discharge their obligations. The exceptions to that rule are comparatively few, and I am convinced that the individuals who are inclined to chisel will in most cases react favorably if you make them feel that you consider them honest, upright and fair.
  • Principle 10: Appeal to the nobler motives.

11. The Movies Do It. TV Does It. Why Don’t You Do It.

  • This is the day of dramatization (1964). 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.
  • Principle 11: Dramatize your ideas.

12. When Nothing Else Works, Try This

  • Charles Schwab: “The way to get things done is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in a sordid, money-getting way, but in the desire to excel.”
  • The desire to excel! The challenge! Throwing down the gauntlet! An infallible way of appealing to people of spirit.
  • Harvey S. Firestone: “I have never found that pay and pay alone would either bring together or hold good people. I think it was the game itself.”
  • 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 why 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.
  • Principle 12: Throw down a challenge.

Part Four: Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

1. If You Must Find Fault, This Is The Way To Begin

  • Beginning with praise is like the dentist who begins work with Novocain. The patient still gets a drilling, but the Novocain is pain-killing.
  • Principle 1: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

2. How to Criticize — And Not Be Hated For It

  • Many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word “but” and ending with a critical statement. The other person feels encouraged until they hear the word “but.” They then 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.
  • This could be easily overcome by changing the word “but” to “and.”
  • Now they would accept the praise because there was no follow-up of an inference failure. We have called attention to the behavior we wished to change indirectly, and the chances are they will try to live up to our expectations.
  • Calling attention to one’s mistakes indirectly works wonders with sensitive people who may resent bitterly any direct criticism.
  • Principle 2: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

3. Talk About Your Own Mistakes First

  • It isn’t nearly so difficult to listen to a recital of your faults if the person criticizing begins by humbly admitting that he, too, is far from impeccable.
  • Admitting one’s own mistakes — even when one hasn’t corrected them — can help convince somebody to change his behavior.
  • Principle 3: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

4. No One Likes To Take Orders

  • He always gave people the opportunity to do things themselves; he never told his assistants to do things; he let them do them, let them learn from their mistakes.
  • A technique like that 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 4: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

5. Let The Other Person Save Face

  • 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: “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 5: Let the other person save face.

6. How to Spur People on to Success

  • Jess Lair: “Praise is like sunlight to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.”
  • 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 the 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 in this book will work only when they come from the heart. I am not advocating a bag of tricks. I am talking about a new way of life.
  • Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.
  • Principle 6: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”

7. Give A Dog A Good Name

  • If you want to improve a person in a certain respect, act as though that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics.
  • Shakespeare: “Assume a virtue, if you have it not.” And it might be well to assume and state openly that other people have the virtue you want them to develop. Give them a fine reputation to live up to, and they will make prodigious efforts rather than see you disillusioned.
  • “Give a dog a bad name and you may as well hang him.” But give him a good name — and see what happens!
  • Principle 7: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

8. Make the Fault Seem Easy To Correct

  • Tell your child, your spouse, or your employee that he or she is stupid or dumb 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 8: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

9. Making People Glad To Do What You Want

  • Always make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.
  • The effective leader should keep the following guidelines in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or behavior:
  • 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 it 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.
  • Principle 9: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

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I love developing ideas into businesses, working with creative foreigners and playing futbol.

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Alexander Jordan

Alexander Jordan

I love developing ideas into businesses, working with creative foreigners and playing futbol.